Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Midsummer is one of those times where I live when I realize how blessed I am to live in the Great Lakes basin with so much lush green landscape and plenty of fresh water. Today I took my 88 year old Mother for a drive and she could not stop exclaiming about how green the farmlands were or how white the clouds were. We have had above average rainfall this June and every pond and creek and all the lakes in the county are brimming with water. My Mother and I just stored the sights up it in our minds like it was something a squirrel might put away for winter and so we shall no doubt need this memory when the snows fly next February.
Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice and more specifically the northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. The undivided Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr Saint John the Baptist, and the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St. John's Eve.
Bonfires are commonly called Saint John's Fires in various languages. Saint John's Day is also a popular for infant baptisms and in the 19th century, "baptisms of children who had died 'pagans' were acted out". In Sweden, young people visited holy springs as "a reminder of how John the Baptist baptized Christ in the River Jordan." In addition, historically, "it was a custom to carry lighted torches on Midsummer-eve, as an emblem of St. John the Baptist, who was 'a burning and shining light,' and the preparer of the way of Christ.