Danna D. Schmidt

Master Life-Cycle Celebrant®

Ordained Wedding Officiant

Funerals/Memorials Specialist

Here Comes the Sun

 summertime fun

 “We like the things that summer brings. It brings the sun. It brings the heat.
It brings the things we like to eat.”
Alice Low, Summer

Summer is coming, summer is coming! We feel it in our bones, we see it in the sky and we know it to be so in our restless, vagabond hearts.

The sun has been our glorious and most generous friend here in the PNW these past weeks and we Seattleites are doing our best as outdoor enthusiasts to welcome it. While not entirely sun-deprived, we come painfully close many months of the year. Hence, I admit that Alice Low’s sunshiny words in her book for pre-schoolers holds a prominent place upon my bookshelf. 

Summer Solstice, which pays homage to the longest day of the year in these northern parts, ushers in a new lightness of being. It wants us to look up to the sky and notice the sun working its overtime shift without pay. Whether or not you take the time to mark the occasion this Sunday, June 21st, you are aware, if you have a satellite address somewhere within the environs of the Northern Hemisphere, that the day feels longer and that a new season has declared itself born. We are extra blessed this year because Solstice falls on none other than Sunday – how synchronic is that? And, it also happens to share a communal spotlight with Father’s Day.

True confession: I’m hugely partial to mash-up holidays and holy days – the more unlikely the better – and this weekend is no exception. Whatever and whoever you might be celebrating this weekend – the beginning of summer vacation, a newly-minted graduate, your father – be he living or dead, your parental partner in crime or even Mr. Golden Sun itself – I encourage you to infuse a little extra Solar power into this day of honoring all the amazing Stars in your life.

Here are a handful of simple rituals to help you throw the doors open to summer this Sunday:


  • Altar It  – construct a Summer-themed altar in your home or office with a lemon yellow pillar candle and photos of your favorite summertime loves
  • Flower Power – treat your coffee table to a fresh bouquet of summer flowers from your backyard or local Farmer’s market
  • Knock, Knock – welcome summer in by hanging a summertime wreath on your door
  • Mother Nature’s Sun – design a Summer Solstice nature mandala
  • Sundial-Up – find the sunniest corner on your property – either in or out – and build a homemade sundial to help capture the light
  • Fly a Bright Flag – decorate a prayer flag with your favorite solstice, summer and sun symbols
  • Bucket List – buy yourself a summer beach bucket and fill it with a list of 94* things to do, be and have this season
    ~ have fun seeing how many or few you get through
  • Grilled Goodness – barbecue some colorful star-shaped veggies on the grill
  • Take Root – start an annual ritual of planting a potted plant, annual, shrub or tree
  • You Are My Sunshine – make a sun-themed summer playlist
  • Patio Lanterns – make your own DIY patio lantern
  • Starlight, Starbright – string lights on your deck or dare to light that tiki torch you’ve been saving for a special occasion
  • Inferno – host a bonfire – burn slips of paper of what you’re happy to shed from the season prior and declare what you want S’more of this summer (followed by S’mores)
    ~ be sure to check your local county burn ban reports first
  • Sweet Treat – bake and decorate a sunflower-themed cake with frosting or orange slices, and adorn it with a sparkler – one for each shining Superstar 
  • Wish Upon a Star – take a moment to give thanks to all who bring light to your world, make a wish for each on a star-shaped slip of paper and burn it


These are just a few fun ways you might sing your own unique Canticle to the Sun. But If your idea of sun worshiping leans less practically and more meditatively, you may want to steal a few minutes or hours at sunrise, sunset or in the high heat of the midday sun instead. Don your sunglasses if the hour suits, have a mini-staring contest with the sun, notice its warmth, and reflect on how it blesses and nourishes your life.

I’m not sure what the forecast promises for these parts for this Sunday’s Solstice turn around the sun, but I for one am surely hoping for a bright, sunshiny day to kick things off rite. 


Have you ever seen


in your life

more wonderful

than the way the sun,

every evening,

relaxed and easy,

floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,

or the rumpled sea,

and is gone —

and how it slides again

out of the blackness,

every morning,

on the other side of the world,

like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,

say, on a morning in early summer,

at its perfect imperial distance —

and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love –‘
Mary Oliver, excerpt from “The Sun”


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Say it RITE…the Ceremonious Way!