birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Summer Solstice

There were at least two years of Summer Solstice where I organized a big picnic. My life in the city in my early thirties felt like the years were racing by, which means the seasons were almost faster than the speed of light. Summer sunshine is the best thing, especially when you live in a notoriously overcast and gloomy city. So, having a festive feast on this ancient day of celebration is like eating the heart of the beast, so to speak.

I’m very proud of the picnic being a success each time and for them both being on weeknights, after work. All it took was people to show up with food and to be game to hang out. How easy is that? I invited a wide swath of people and encouraged friends to invite friends. It was largely a merger of my fun-loving peeps involved in foodie stuff and in bike stuff, but there were also assorted friends, as well as friends of friends who showed up not knowing anyone.

There were blankets and tarps and salads and brownies and cookies. There were Campari cocktails being mixed if you knew who to ask. There was a frisbee and a football. My dear friend even showed up and brought her little daughter on the back of her bike. The long, long evening of sunshine eventually ended with the sun tucking behind the Olympic mountain range.

As someone who was often staying at work late, this picnic tradition I was building really forced me to be outside and enjoying this longest day, and I hope it helped my friends too. We’re all getting so alienated anymore with our busy lives, and, looking back, I’m so glad I could mark those points because it helped me dig into those days and know they were really there. And to see my friends and to know they were really there. My life has changed quite a bit since those Solstice picnics, but I’d like to bring them back again someday, wherever I may be, and hopefully with friends who will join me.

Always for Pleasure

Koreatown Christmas