Midsummer Night’s Eve

I heard a fascinating segment on NPR this morning of The Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor;

“Tonight is Midsummer Night’s Eve, also called St. John’s Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It’s a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. That’s where the word “honeymoon” comes from, because it’s also a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. In Mexico, people decorate wells and fountains with flowers, candles, and paper garlands. They go out at midnight and bathe in the lakes and streams. Midsummer Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Flowers were placed under a pillow with the hope of important dreams about future lovers. Shakespeare set his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on this night. It tells the story of two young couples who wander into a magical forest outside Athens. In the play, Shakespeare wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

I was particularly struck by this as, historically, the name Deborah means “Queen Bee”. The origin of the name is also Hebrew; and in the Old Testament of the Bible, Deborah was the name of a judge, prophetess and lawmaker. Over the centuries this name has traditionally been appreciated for its association with the hard work, persistence, and importance to society for which bees were known. As such, I pay homage to bees here with a necklace and earrings made from 18KY gold and black diamonds.

As for true love, the impulse to create and manifest symbols in celebration of such unions is with me constantly and, hopefully, always will be.


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