Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Midsummer Day's Blog Post

Today is the Summer Solstice, celebrated in many parts of the world as Midsummer.”

Many years ago I was in a “Shakespeare in the Park”-style production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” It was the worst production I was ever in – until that same troupe did “The Taming of the Shrew” the next year.*

In some countries, people celebrate “St. John's Day” on Midsummer. Though “John” has historically been one of the most common given names, I currently know only one person by that name.**

Folks in Seattle, WA mark the day by stripping to the skin and riding around the city on bicycles. I love Seattle.

Many traditional Midsummer celebrations involve lighting large bonfires. As these celebrations take place largely in Northern Europe, where the sun will barely dip below the horizon (the midnight sun and all that...), I'm going to have to admit to being confused by the concept. Are they for making traditional viking s'mores? 

As a kid living in Florida and Alabama, I never understood this lyric, as the only immigrants I knew came from tropical Latin countries to the south. In fact, the only people I knew whom this statement even came close to describing were my Michigan-born brother and myself. Let this be a lesson to you not to waste too much time analyzing Led Zeppelin lyrics.

It is said that if a woman places a particular combination of flowers under her pillow on Midsummer's Eve, she will dream of her true love. I tried this last year, but my husband kept jostling them. 

Every time I read the words “Midsummer's Eve,” I think “Fresh is simple with Summer's Eve.” Commercials clearly take up too much of the real estate in my brain.

Speaking of commercials... Witness! Cultural insensitivity at it's finest –

Banned IKEA Commercial, Swedish Midsummer

Reminds me a lot of tail-gating in the US, to be honest... 
and a few nights I spent on Dauphin Island back in college.
I see nothing wrong with any of this. 
I'd party with those cats any day. Skål, y'all!

From the official website of Sweden: “A typical Midsummer menu features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and raw red onion. This is often followed by a grilled dish of some kind, such as spare rib or salmon, and for dessert the first strawberries of summer, with cream. The traditional accompaniment is a cold beer and schnapps...” Note to self. By next midsummer, befriend Swede who can cook.***

I have never danced around a Maypole. Or a stripper's pole. I've lived a sheltered life.

Today's lesson: The Earth orbits the Sun... and that is a good thing. 

Next: Why “That Was Tomorrow” by Mary Lois Timbes is the next ebook you should buy.
(Especially since you're going to anyway to download "Hometown" for FREE!) 

*I'm a slow learner.

**Either I need to get out more or people need to quit naming their kids things like “Pleistocene” and “Artichoke.”

***Not this guy -

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