St. John’s Tide: In Service of Being Human

2304 1728 World Social Initiative Forum

Saint John is the festival of being human, that is, embodying what it is to be human at the highest level of integration. 

Article by Joan Sleigh | Photo by Nicole Asis | Poem “The Solar Convoy” by Nir Badt (Translated in EN by Omer Eilam)

Photo by Nicole Asis

The festival of Saint John, celebrated at midsummer in the north, midwinter in the south, and all variations in between, is a time to turn to the beauty and resilience of nature. We honor both our dependency and our responsibility for the living co-inhabitants of the Earth. 

Life itself is the agency of humanness in its continuous processes of growth and change, health and disease, growth and decay. It brings with it adaptation and integration through the constant flow of multiple processes, manifesting beauty and fragility. This places us as human beings in a constant ebb and flow of entanglement in its riddles, many of which we cannot grasp, and none of which we can control.

Ultimately, we – as human beings living on Earth – are integrated within the cycle of life and death.

The poem below shared by a student from Israel is a true St. John’s call. It is a voice in the desert calling us to change the ways we live, think, and work. May these words inspire and engage us in service of being human.


The Solar Convoy
(Original Text by Nir Badt, translated by Omer Eilam)

The Solar Convoy rides calmly,
Moving gently while the sun is shining and slowing down at sunset.
Its members flow along the roads like a cold stream amidst the warm desert,
Bringing life to fields of destruction they traverse.

Their journey is one of regeneration and healing,
They have no defined destination, they are rooted in the present
and in what has to be done in each and every moment.
They are of different ages and belong to different cultures long lost,
Each one carries with them an essence of their beauty which continues to shine.

Their tools are similar to ours, they gather everything they need from the road,
But their skill in improvisation and connection creates each moment something new according to the need.
Every evening they stop their vehicles in a big circle and begin to cry.

They mourn the animals and plants and the people that have passed,
The beauty that was there and is no longer and the pain that remains in the soil.
Through their tears they heal the pain and bring new life to the soil.
The weeping then turns to laughter, rolling and echoing in the distance, letting all of Nature know that the insanity is over and the time is ripe for life to thrive.

Before their departure in the morning they leave behind fabulous devices for gathering dew, restoring the soil
and tending to the animals that gathered around them during the night; restoring the water systems.
They keep moving with the seasons, staying always on the border between the burning heat
and the freezing cold, behind them a trail of light, green fields decorating the yellow earth.

Their heart is soft and gentle, pure of any strife.
They have no fear as the looters and destroyers have long since disappeared.
Only the few remained who allowed the great light to burn the separation from within them,
The ones who turned to superconductors when the great light shone within them.

They move as one body without much talk,
And when they do talk they carry the intensity of the Primordial Word.
They have neither a map nor a plan, the wind guides them in great precision.
They already know the new cycles, moving north and south with the seasons.

Soon it will be the height of summer in the northern part of the globe,
There they will gather like every year for the big reunion with the other moving convoys.
No one has ever pre-determined the gathering, it simply became.
They exchange knowledge and tools and beautiful artifacts,
Giving without compensation and receiving what they deserve.
The peak of summer they celebrate with a blazing light, beating the heart of the world
and uniting in a great motion that continues and intensifies throughout the night.
The yearly insemination gathering reaches its peak at the moment of sunrise,
And new life that was created in the Mothers’ wombs start beating
To the rhythm of a song for the next generation.
Soon they will travel south, their heart is synchronous and their soul is one.

The Solar Convoy keeps moving…

 About the Contributor Joan Sleigh has extensive experience in Waldorf Education as a class teacher and mentor. She served in the Executive Council at the Goetheanum from 2013 to 2020 in Dornach, Switzerland. She is the project leader of the World Social Initiative Forum since 2015.


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