A poem by Hafiz of Shiraz, a 14th century Persian poet. The poetry of Hafiz was first translated into English in 1771. It spread through out the Western world, influencing American and European intellectuals from Henry David Thoreau to Friedrich Engles.
The sun will set in New York at 8:31 pm on the summer solstice. Weather permitting, it will shine down on us for 15 hours, 5 minutes, and 40 seconds before then. Not only is this solstice the longest day of the year, it brings us the closest we get to the star that sustains us, the mysterious nuclear reaction that is the source of all potential here on Earth.
In an impersonal universe, the sun is just the remnant of the massive collapse of a molecular cloud that gave birth to galaxies of other stars, many bigger and brighter than our own. It means the world to us, yet it's barely a speck on the Milky Way map. Miraculously, despite its relative insignificance in the universe, our celestial friend still anchors our solar system and lights up our lives. It shapes everything from our cells to our biorhythms to our imagination. It is at once a question and an answer and a question again to the how and why and where of our cosmic journey.
Hanging in space, we are utterly dependent on our nuclear neighbor. Born from destruction, creating order from chaos, burning to exhaustion, the sun is the ultimate symbol for the paradoxes of life and death, cycle and chance, eternity and finality. Its constant shine reminds us that energy is forever flowing and changing form, sparking creation from destruction, conception from collapse.
Celebrating the solstice through our practice, let us remember that our flow is an expression of the movement of energy through the universe. Our yoga is a union with that energy and all that springs from it. As the sun moves through the sky today, let's rejoice in the serendipity of our cosmic adventure and take comfort in the connection our practice cultivates with the energy of life.