Kage Baker loved the Summer Solstice.
We always celebrated it with pomp and ritual – also with hard cider, brown ale, and a pizza. Kage declared pizza as a perfect Solstice food, being emblematic of a Sun Disk. We used red plates, lit red and gold candles; on energetic years, we lit a fire in the low brazier in the back yard and leaped over it a few times for good luck.
If the night was not too chill and foggy, we did it sky-clad. With Harry (our only livestock) in his carry cage, to be borne over the flames with us. He’d put up with nearly anything for pizza …
One of the things I am working on now is a novel we actually wrote together – oh, long ago! Kage eventually mined out a lot of her parts, and the secondary plot they formed became the universe of Anvil of the World. But she also wrote hymns for the main plot, as the protagonists were nuns. Incompetent nuns, but devout. Devout to a fault, in fact.
I gift you, Dear Readers, with Kage’s Solstice Hymn.
Come to us, Bright One, Beloved of our days.
The fair-haired Boy comes over the hills,
The Morning Son, the Bright-eyed;
Born in the sorrow and darkness of the night,
But rising now to claim His time.
And red and gold He rises on the world
With laughter in His glowing heart,
And though His Father died in dust and blood
He comes again, all shining in the wind.
Summer is His name; no shadow falls
Across His path, the Good One, the Beloved.
High He glides on the warm air,
Far He strides across the blossoming earth.
He is the Undefeated and the Lark,
The Lord Sunflower with His fiery hair,
King of freedom and of all blue skies,
The handsome Lover in the evening light.
His Mother fled in darkness, from Darkness hid
To bear Him secretly:
But He will comfort, will avenge Her wrong,
And all will be amended in His light.
Come to us, Bright One, Beloved of our days!