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Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Solstice and Plant Sex

Today is Monday, June 21, the summer solstice and a very good time to start a blog. In Juneau, we will get about 18 hours and 18 minutes of light today. We will all feel tremendously alive because, really, that is what light does to us and all living things. In fact, we have been feeling pretty vital for a least a month and maybe even since March 21, the day of the equinox, when light began to overcome the dark. In terms of time, that is.

The life force surges in Alaska in late spring. Plants shoot out of the ground and flowers suddenly open and perfume the air. Abundance is manifested wherever you look. One of the most abundant plants in my neighborhood is Sweet Rocket, an English cottage garden plant that reseeds itself so successfully that it seems to be everywhere, inside gardens and outside them, on rock ledges and on top of walls, pushing through fences, crowding the steep staircases that are public thoroughfares.

These plants and so many others crowd the trails and sidewalks and each other in their frenzy to reproduce. I was surprised to find out that flowers are simply the reproductive part of the plant that produces seeds. So I guess you could say that plant sex surrounds us at the the zenith of summer. But plant sex is only a part of the life force. When we are bathed in light for so much of the day, I can feel the life force humming through me, I can hear it in bird song, and I can see it in the pollen and the seeds that fly through the air. It is a force so big and so strong that it makes me want to live a bigger and stronger life. Maybe that's why I know so many people in Alaska who are living such interesting lives. It explains a lot.

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