Nature Speaks: Welcome the Return of Summer

Friday, June 20, 2014

May your life be like a wildflower,
growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.
- Native American proverb

Bumblebee resting on a native Seaside Daisy flower

Nature Speaks: Welcome the Return of Summer
Article and photos by Jennifer Rotermund

June is the month of abundance and joy. You take dash of rain, a healthy pinch of warmer temperatures and several heaping tablespoons of daylight hours and you have the magical recipe for flowers, vegetables, fruit, and new growth everywhere. Almost all plants seem to know which element dominates this month as they bolt straight up toward the sun. In June, I harvest Strawberries like mad, and delight in the swelling Raspberries, Plums, Blueberries, Currants, Elderberries, and Apples following close behind. My herbs grow at a frenetic pace that I wish they could sustain year-round so that my natural pharmacy could always be this readily available and well-stocked.

Edible Nasturtium flower

This is the month of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The Great Medicine Wheel of the Earth has moved through Spring and stands fully open to the Southern Gate. Sun-worshipers delight in this time, as we enjoy 16 hours of daylight in the northwest. Even the Full Moon this month was known by our ancestors as the "Sun Moon" because the Sun dominates and delights every aspect of our lives in June. Reflecting this energy, our inner and outer light shines brightly this month as well. Just as each plant shares its unique flower or fruit with us, so too do we have the opportunity to recognize the unique gifts we have to share with the world. 

Blueberries in June

As a gardener, I love growing food in abundance for my family, friends, and to give to a food bank. Even the wildlife eat especially well from my garden this month and hardly make a dent in the crops. I love feeding and caring for others with what I’ve grown myself. But I also delight in watching the role that everyone plays in my garden. Visiting Honey Bees are producing honey for my neighbors two doors down, Bumblebees pollinate all my flowers all day long, Hummingbirds zip through the air ridding it of unwanted insects, while Earth Worms aerate and amend the sun-warmed soil. We each have gifts and talents to offer the world; with June’s abundance and the joys of solstice, we are called to celebrate and share these gifts. What are yours?

Love in a Mist flower facing the June sun

Jennifer Rotermund is the owner of Gaiaceous Gardens (an urban farming and wildlife gardening business with a teaching garden /urban farm and certified wildlife habitat/ sanctuary located in Shoreline). She is a Permaculture Designer, is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Habitat Steward and serves as a Docent at the Kruckeberg Garden. She is also an ordained minister with a particular focus on earth-based forms of spirituality.


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