Winter’s arrival feels especially bittersweet this year.
Even while we marvel at the beauty of crisp mornings, amber leaves, and the return of our favourite woolly jumpers, we still can’t quite shake the feeling that it has all arrived too soon. We’ve only just got back outdoors again after all! How can we happily welcome Winter when Summer 2020 was effectively cancelled?
That is the Summer King’s story at Hearth Fire (Digital Samhuinn Fire Festival). His is the season that was cut short, and it is with great reluctance that he first contemplates handing the world over to Winter.
You first met the Summer King earlier this year at BOnFire, when he woke up from his wintry slumber as the Green Man. Upon his awakening, the Summer King decided to throw a magnificent feast. He would invite all the summertime creatures in the land to come to his party, where they would dance and sing and eat and drink with him under the blazing sun.
But nobody came.
All the food on the Summer King’s table was left uneaten. No singing or laughter filled the air. The beings of the mortal realm had retreated indoors, and nobody was coming to greet the summertime god.
Now, too soon for his liking, the Summer King feels Winter’s frosts creeping over the land. He knows that soon he must pass the mantle to his opposite, the Winter King, and retreat back to sleep for another cold season.
The Summer King feels blue, but he isn’t one to revel in his sadness for too long. With no time to lose, he sets out to make the most of the rest of his shortened season.
We are restricted in our movements, but still freer than we were in the Spring. There are opportunities to meet in the park, or in the pub, and rebuild some of that community spirit we’ve been missing in isolation.
Under the Summer King’s guidance, let us share joy and art and laughter as we bid his season farewell. We’re going to need those things all the more to propel us through the Winter months.
Featured image by Vince Graham for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.