You’ve probably heard this expression before – oh those good old “Halcyon Days.” It’s a phrase filled with the nostalgic remembrance of the endless summer days of our youths.
But I have a few more references for you today. The first is to an on-line publication of that same title that you really need to check out. It is absolutely beautifully done, and I’m honored to have had one of my poems picked up in its Autumn issue – “An Oil Painting for the One I Love.”
The next is to the original source of the term, which ascribes to days in the depths of winter’s grasp.
Greek legend has it that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone. Alcyone married Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx suffered the fate of drowning at sea and Alcyone, in her grief, threw herself into the ocean. But instead of drowning, she was transformed into a bird, the Halcyon, and carried to her husband by the wind.
The Halcyon was said to make a floating nest in the Aegean Sea and, while brooding her eggs, she had the power to calm the waves for fourteen days. This would occur every year around the Winter Solstice, usually 21st or 22nd of December. The Halcyon is now commonly linked to European Kingfisher.
As time passed, the association with the brooding time of the Halcyon faded, and the phrase was just associated with the calm days of summer, as was used by Shakespeare in Henry VI:
Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise:
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Somehow, the phrase evolved into its present meaning of those happy endless days of our youth.
So, while I’m looking back in time today, I’ll draw another reference to a few more of my past blog posts that were pleasantly, and excitedly, picked up for publication. I haven’t reminisced like this since my post 100th!!!
The following articles and poems were picked up by The Urban Howl:
Luminous, published under the title: Release Yourself From Your Thoughts – Be Luminous & Divine.
The Bear, published under the title: Bear Wisdom – Venture, Awaken & Emerge From the Den.
Hiking Through the Rhyolite, published under the title: If Your Soul is Open, Nature’s Spirits Will Speak to You.
Monsoons and Mountains, published under the title: Surrender Control & Let The Wind Take You To A New Adventure.
Torrent, published under the title: The Torrent: Facing Our Greatest Fear & Risking Living.
I hope you have many Halcyon days to remember, and maybe this year around the time of the Winter Solstice, we’ll all have some 🙂
Photo: I was perched in these mountains last month. Definitely a calm and endless day of joy.