A Set of Summer Solstice Words
Like all those who worship light, I love those long, lazy summer evenings when the light hangs in the sky till well past the time we should be getting tired. I love the fireflies darting in tiny random trajectories through the backyard on the edge of our woods leaving jet trails of light when I squint to bring them into clearer focus. I love falling asleep on a late summer night with the windows open…allowing the cooling earth to enter the room on whispering breezes. Love the voices of kids with dirty bare feet, playing in the cul de sac drunk on summer freedom as dusk begins and mothers start calling them home. I love the rising crystal-bright evening star in a sky more deep blue than black. Love the darkening edges of night tinting the sky to black while one strip of tri-color light (rose, cream, and velvety blue) frames the horizon for what feels like forever after sunset.
Summer is such joy.
The solstice appears at the height of all these things I love. It tips us over toward the shortening of days…but instead of feeling sad that we are headed downward, I bask in the apex of the light–enjoying both the lengthening of days preceding it and the long days that hang on after it. They are not shorter yet, and so they feel like celebrations to me–each one its own line in the secret hymn of praise I sing to the light.
The solstice reminds me that light leaves an echo just like sound…the hours of daylight hanging on in the air and slowly fading as we roll into fall, when the “blue hour” just at sunset arrives earlier but still reminds us just a little of the just-past clear golden light of summer. When fall comes, some of us will dream about light that stayed up late just as we did with nothing but time on our hands–laughing and talking on June nights. In the long light of summer evenings, we were all children out of school once more…drunk on freedom in the days when all things are possible.