Today is the summer solstice. The longest day of the year is my favorite day of the year. Christmas? maybe when I was 11. Thanksgiving? maybe when I actually ate turkey. My birthday? not since the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday. But the longest day of the year, in its inconspicuous arrival and departure, is what I await.
I don’t know when I started to sit and watch the sky and the clock on June 21st each year- seeing at what exact moment the sky no longer has any trace of pink or yellow or orange left, the first firefly catches my eye flashing somewhere on the lawn, the lushness and greenness of spring outdone becomes shrouded in shadows, all the while listening to the faint chorus of the June crickets in the background before they really let it rip in July. The first night of summer is tinged with beginnings and the long awaited fulfillment of the promises of April and May. “If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.” ( Bern Williams) I now know why there are so many June brides.
I love that feeling of knowing that today we get a bonus – bonus daylight. And that today, summer starts and all the good that comes with it. The tomatoes worth eating, the corn – no butter needed, the flashlight tag games played by kids with mosquito welts all over their legs, the sundresses exposing tanned, freckled shoulders, the hum of the air conditioners droning in the background ceaselessly, the honeysuckle scent drifting in the air, the lazy days at the beach where your only worry is whether the tide will reach your chair, the ice cream scoops, cones, sandwiches, sundaes, shakes etc., watermelon slices, lobster rolls, sunburned noses, porch lounging but especially the nowhere-to-go, nothing-to-do days that feel well spent, well lived, well deserved. Oh! Let’s not forget pie! Summer berry pie. Pie makes everyone happy.
Summer is short which is why it is so precious. Life is short. Ditto. I plan on enjoying every moment I can, cherishing every day I am given the privilege of being here. Every bonus minute of daylight. That is what I think about as the careless summer breeze makes the tree leaves dance and whoosh. I think, this is worth celebrating. June 21st is worth celebrating. Summer is worth celebrating. Everyday is worth celebrating in some way. Big or small. Life is worth celebrating no matter what. With all its good and all its bad. There is always something to love, something to be grateful for. And without love and gratitude in your life, well, that’s like life without summer.
The sun set 15 minutes ago but that isn’t what I’m waiting for. I wait for that last glimmer of light from the sky peeking through the giant oak trees in my front yard. I wait for the stars and moon to take over where dusk left off. I wait for every last bonus minute. And then at that last moment, that absolute last moment I can not see any signs of light left – I call it. 8:54. The day lasted until 8:54. It comes and goes quietly. No tv ads, no decorations, no fanfare or shopping necessary. It is brief and passing and beautiful and worth celebrating all the same.
Enjoy the summer everyone. See you back here in the Fall!
June 21, 2014