The Summer Solstice occurred this morning at 5:45am GMT. I wasn’t at Stonehenge to see the sun rise, though apparently 36,500 people were. Nor, later in the morning, was I at church. I was at home instead.
On this, the Longest Day (and thus, last night was the Shortest Night), I find myself caught between two worlds and once again, not fully belonging in either. Atheist friends (including my partner) no doubt will roll their eyes in exasperation at this; “She’s off again….” More spiritually-inclined friends will be more sympathetic – or at least, less blatant in their eye-rolling. My teenaged daughters will complain, “Oh Mum, when are you going to make your mind up??”
Whichever way I turn, I feel as though I am letting people down in their expectations of me. Those who have not been in this position cannot know just how uncomfortable this doubt truly is. I envy those whose faith is firm and unwaverung – and yes, even those who have no faith – because at least their sleeping and waking moments are not spent caught up in a miasma of doubt which cannot be shared with anyone else save through the uncertain and unclear medium of written words on a blog. It’s not something I’ve ever felt really able to freely discuss in person – perhaps because the pain of spiritual uncertainty is a very internal, personal, private thing. And yet that pain affects those around me; it colours my perceptions and my reactions to people and situations on a subconscious level. It affects my mood; and in turn my mood affects me on the spiritual level as much as the emotional one.
Somehow it seems fitting that the Solstice coincides with the dark of the moon; the seeming absence of the moon makes the night all the more dark despite its brevity.