They are stretched and silenced and made holey with old, feral magic.
I get out of bed, drawn thoughtless to the windswept dark; I stand in my back yard and look for stars, black bird wings, and barefoot, knot-haired gods smoking out the clouds. The wind stills, not touching me, waiting for me to go back inside. When I do, it begins stroking my house again, and all I can hope is to fall asleep and into a dream of that wind and where beyond earth it came from.
There is wind in the afternoons also. But it's warm, cicada-sung, speckled with swallows; it's summered right out of all magic. It doesn't have the faery feel of night wind. And there is no sound of music.
Faint, bell-like music which makes you want to run home (fool that you are for walking in night breezes) and inside your locked house sing up the great king of the sun to keep you safe from things which dance and stalk and sigh in the layered, magical dark. Thing is, though, the summer king is just as much king of the night. He orders the butterflies and wild bells, the roses and the whatever-it-is that watches as you walk away from the oaks beneath cold starlight.
I will carry this truth into the long dry months ahead of me. There is a mystical darkness at the deep-down heart of summer. There is always a night to go with the light.
A time for the soft-winged and magic-eyed and shy, poetry-fingered things to come out and breathe for a while, after all the bright summer-folk have gone to bed.
Solstice blessings to you all. The pictures in this post are by the incomparable Catherine Hyde. And here is a beautiful song of Yule for those of you in the north.