There are two solstices each year. These are astronomical moments when the light is greatest and the dark is least (Summer Solstice) and when the light is least and darkness is greatest (Winter Solstice). Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself.
In the period around the summer solstice, the sun radiates its most powerful energy. But the seasonal ascendance of light and temperature is not -- despite popular belief -- due to our distance from the sun, but rather to the degree of directness of its rays.
High holidays offer a moment for assessment and appreciation. It is always appropriate to be grateful for what we do have, and at the same time to notice what is waning and how we are called towards reconstruction.
Each year in NYC, legendary musician Paul Winter presents two annual celebration concerts on the summer and winter solstice. I recently had the pleasure of talking with Winter about the upcoming summer solstice concert.