Smiling through the Solstice Celebration

by Johanna Houkes, UU Rhein-Main

On Sunday, June 20th, 2021, Unitarian Universalists from all over Europe celebrated the summer solstice together! Now, regarding events like this one, I’m definitely in favor of solutions that encourage social distancing and keep everyone as safe and as comfortable as possible during these challenging times right now. However, I do have to admit that, in the beginning, I had my reservations: I wasn’t quite sure if an online gathering would feel as refreshingly festive as an in-person solstice celebration would have most certainly felt like.

Well, I was wrong. Entering the call, I was immediately greeted by a wonderfully merry piece of music. I changed to gallery view, my favorite, to look at all the familiar and (yet) unfamiliar faces, and noticed the number of participants steadily growing. Joyful greetings and comments filled the chat. The celebration itself was just what I had needed on that Sunday, without having been aware of it beforehand. It included a thought-provoking story and an inspiring exchange in breakout rooms, encouraging us all to think and talk about our relationship with the earth. There was so much music and dancing that I couldn’t stop smiling for most of the service.

Thank you, Tony, Shulamit, Rev. Amy, Alinda, and everyone who has made this event possible!