It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.
– Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib.
I grew up with the Betsy-Tacy series. I know I’m not alone in my adoration and obsession for these books and their characters. The series enjoys some great fans including Anna Quindlen and Bette Midler, and my mom was one too. In 2012, the New York Times reported on the convention of fans in report called Growing Up Together. I admit I made my own pilgrimage to Mankato in 1983 so I could sit on the bench and see the landscape of my imagination. There’s even an essay that references the series in The Paris Review. (!!!) I was delighted to come across this quote about June in a collection of quotes about summer at the Town & Country website. Maud Hart Lovelace will never go out of style.
Well, it’s summer! Finally. A time for books and picnics like Betsy and her friends relished.
In Celtic tradition, June is the month of the oak tree, which was seen as a symbol of strength and vitality. We are heading into the longest day of the year at the Summer Solstice on June 21st. Did you know that the world solstice come from the Latin word stitium, which means to sit still? That’s because the sun seems to stand still in the sky before heading back south.
June 21st, a day of fire festivals, is called midsummer (as in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) because the day is midway between Beltane (May 1) and Lughnasadh (August 1). A day also of thin times, the fairies like to cause mischief and confusion just as Shakespeare depicted. The full moon in June is known as the Honey Moon, and this was a time for marriage too – another theme in Shakespeare’s play.
The day was believed to be the day of marriage between the heaven and the earth. The full moon falls on June 28th, and American Indians, the Algonquin tribe specifically, called that moon the strawberry moon because this is the season for harvesting strawberries. Strawberries in December are not as flavorful and juicy as those in June!
In his poem Fasti, also called the Six Books of the Calendar, the ancient Roman poet Ovid suggested that June is called June after Juno, the wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage.
The United Nations also designated June 21st as International Yoga Day. In DC, the Embassy of India is hosting a yoga class on the west lawn of the US Capitol on June 16th.
We also will celebrate Flag Day on the 14th. Historians believe Flag Day began to be celebrated in 1885 in Wisconsin. June 14th was selected for the “Flag’s Birthday” because that was the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted of the flag of the United States in 1777. I like to honor the woman who, likely, created the US Flag – Betsy Ross.
In 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows:
According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. The stars were in a circle so that no one colony would be viewed above another. It is reported that George Washington said, “Let the 13 stars in a circle stand as a new constellation in the heavens.”
President Woodrow Wilson officially established Flag day with a presidential proclamation on May 30th, 1916. The designation didn’t become law until President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day on August 3rd, 1949.
Father’s Day is on Sunday the 17th. There are two competing stories about how Father’s Day came to be – both in the first decade of the 1900s, though the day was not official until the early 1970s. Fathers are honored around the world on different days; in Nepal Father’s Day is the day of the new moon in September. I love that! Real Simple offers a collection of Father’s Day ideas – including recipes, quotes, gifts from kids, and an essay 10 Things My Father Was Right About. And if you are grieving on Father’s Day, NPR’s Weekend Edition has help for that, including a Ted Talk.
If you’re local in DC, check out these events this month –
:: The Washington National Cathedral hosts the 1 Journey Festival on June 2nd, an annual celebration of unity, resilience, and accomplishment. One Journey sends the message that refugees are vital to our society. We are breaking the status quo by bringing forth their unique talents, creating empathy, and becoming enduring allies. And the day’s activities will include art, food (including a cooking demonstration) music, dance and fashion. Tickets are free but you should register here.
:: Until June 30th, you can check out the innovative and interactive exhibit Naked Eyes A Celebration of Light at Artechouse DC. And if you go at night, you can take advantage of the Augmented Reality Cocktail Bar. I have no idea what that means (stronger drinks?), but I’m intrigued!
:: The American Film Institute runs their AFI documentary festival from June 13th to the 17th. They have some interesting films and also lots of director talks too! Check out the schedule here and the films and film talks here.
:: Union Market outdoor drive-in movies continues with Clueless on June 1st.
:: Jazz in the Garden in the sculpture garden of the Smithsonian Museum continues with 5 free jazz concerts! The Sculpture Garden is a great venue to do a picnic and enjoy the music and people watching. The Pavilion Café offers food to buy too.
This month, we have three free lock screens for your phone to mark the new month. Every time you reach for your device you can be motivated with our beautiful images and inspiration.
Our themes for June are “Engage,” “Expand” and “Trust.”
Please share this post with a friend so they can be inspired throughout June as well.
Open this post on your phone. Select the image you want by pressing down on the image you love best. Then tap the button to save the image to your camera roll. Then go to your phone settings, then to display/wallpaper and select the option to choose a new wallpaper. Then select the downloaded image as your lock screen. And save!
1) First save the photo to your phone by tapping with your finger until box pops up that says “copy” “save” “more…”
2) Tap on save.
3) Go to settings app on phone and open
4) Go to “Wallpaper – under “Display & Brightness” & “General”
5) Click on “Choose a new wallpaper”
6) Go to your “All Photos”
7) Select the photo you want
8) When pulled up you can move and scale (but you shouldn’t have to). When as you wish, click on “set”
9) Select “set lock screen” And you are done!
Let me know what you think!
Do you recall that night in June,
Upon the Danube river?
We listen’d to a Ländler tune,
We watch’d the moonbeams quiver.
I oft since then have watch’d the moon,
But never, love, oh! never,
Can I forget that night in June,
down the Danube river.