On June 23, 2013 Keeper of Seasons Hall met to celebrate Midsummer. The drought of the previous years had continued and worsened, and much of the open space in and around the city was closed to the public. Fortunately for the Hall, Schuyler volunteered the use of his land in the mountains, and we were able to celebrate outdoors, surrounded by trees.
Because even the mountains had been suffering from an extended period of unusual warmth, we decided to meet fairly early in the day to avoid the worst of the heat as has become our custom. After Schuyler showed us his garden and a few of the more picturesque areas of his property, we chose a spot to hold our ceremony. Even with the dry weather’s effects clearly visible around us with wilting plants and trees tinged with brown and yellow, there were still many birds flitting through the branches overhead, and periodically a cooling breeze made its way through our chosen area.
I led us through our sumble this year, beginning with an announcement of our reason for gathering and a series of hails to the powers of the season. I added my own request for some relief from the heat and lack of rain, and then together we went through the rounds of sumble, hailing the gods, our ancestors and heroes, and our own deeds. After the three standard rounds, I hailed our host, thanking him for his hospitality and his dependability. When everyone present was satisfied with the words spoken, I poured the remainder of the mead in libation.
Following our hails and offering, we moved to a different, more shaded area and shared a breakfast of fruit and breakfast burritos. We spoke for a few hours, catching up on events in each others’ lives and discussing a variety of topics relating to Heathenry on both local and national scales, shifting our positions occasionally to stay in the shade. Finally, though, the sun’s warmth became uncomfortable, and we decided to go our separate ways. We resolved to see one another again during our open meeting July 14.
Thank you again to Schuyler for volunteering his land for Midsummer; the Hall had another excellent holiday celebration thanks to his hospitality.