In my native Finland, Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year and it is really long, the sun does not go down at all above the Arctic Circle —is considered the second most important holiday behind Christmas. We go to nature, cabins, boat, gather, and build bonfires. Legend says that on midsummer night any young woman who puts seven wildflowers under her pillow will dream of her future fiance. This celebration of the longest day of the year or Summer Solstice is an ancient practice in many different cultures. It is a celebration and connection to the light. In the spiritual tradition, we know that light always overcomes darkness.
Today, we need abundant light more than ever. For many of us, George Floyd’s murder brought into the light the systemic racism we’d been blind to for so long. But more light is needed, even in healthcare.
When my daughter educated me about Juneteenth, I admitted I had only heard of it in passing. It’s inconceivable that such a critical American event—the emancipation of the last slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865—has been overlooked for so long. This dismissal is an indication not only of how invisible black Americans have been in the USA but also our reluctance to acknowledge the atrocities perpetrated against them. Surely, a Juneteenth federal holiday is in our future.
The murder of George Floyd and other black Americans sparked the integrative health community to do our part to bring attention to the interplay between racism, trauma, and health.
Here at Pacific Pearl La Jolla, I work with Dr. Guarneri, our staff and various like-minded healthcare organizations, AIHM, doctors, nurses and other providers, and leaders, such as Dr. Shamini Jain, Deepak Chopra, Larry and Barbara Dossey and others, to create a call to action to the healthcare industry to address the systemic trauma prevalent in communities of color. Life is hard. When it’s compounded by the perpetual stress caused by systemic racism and daily interpersonal aggressions, the impact on the organs, mind, and mood devastates the human body. The more signatures we get on this letter, the more influence we all will have to help focus healthcare on the unique challenges our fellow humans of color face every day. Please read and sign today!
Sunday’s long daylight hours also give us more time and illumination to connect with and reflect on our fathers. Our patients have been sharing that during this lockdown, they are certainly suffering, but on the lighter side, it also has given them the time to be with their children. Still, many fathers are in long-term or skilled-nursing facilities where adult children cannot get close and others are in spirit. We send Blessings to every Father on this special day.
While, of course, we would all prefer to be physically together, an unprecedented threat like Covid-19 helps us to appreciate the intensity of our bonds. Because integrative health emphasizes body, mind, spirit connection, I—along with Dr. Guarneri and all the staff at The Pearl—hope that one silver lining of this COVID-19 is the prioritization of relationships. Even those who have difficult relationships with their fathers find connection and forgiveness. We hope you honor Father’s Day with as much love, energy, and even forgiveness as you can.
Enjoy and celebrate the Midsummer light as much as we do in Finland. Soak it in, savor it, and send it to the world that needs healing and your light more than ever right now.
Love and Light,
Rauni Prittinen King, RN, MIH
The Pacific Pearl La Jolla