Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice Musings

It's here, people, the longest day of the year. There's a scientific explanation for how it all happens, but there's nothing calculable about the way it makes me feel. For all intents and purposes, today is the same as tomorrow — but today, we get three more seconds of sunlight than any other day of the year. It happens annually, like the clockwork of the sky, a giant sundial to remind us what season we're in and which is coming next.

When I was young, maybe 8 or 10 or so, my parents went on a trip, and I was staying with some family friends on the summer solstice. I must have mentioned a few times that it was the longest day of the year. They teased me, saying, "You don't want to spend this lengthy day with us? You'd rather be somewhere else, like CiCi's Pizza or Silver Dollar City?", but it wasn't about where else I wanted to be. I just wanted to make sure to soak up every minute of that day.

Maybe it's because I thrive in natural light, but I crave this day year-round. Yet when it arrives, the summer solstice gives me mixed feelings; it even did back then. It's one part bliss because my favorite season has officially arrived, complete with dripping, sticky popsicles and a nap on a warm towel after an hour in the pool. At the same time, it's one part bellyaches, knowing tomorrow won't be as long as today. It can't; the sun won't let it. In some ways, it reminds me to live in the moment. I can spend my whole year waiting for June 21, but 24 hours later, it will be June 22.

There's nothing I can do to make the summer solstice shorter. There's nothing I can do to make the winter solstice longer. All any of us can do, really, is sit back, smile, and be thankful for the sunshine we are allotted today. 

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