Happy Solstice: Thoughts on the Longest Day of the Year

in #solstice3 years ago

Happy Solstice, Steemit!

Today marks the longest day of the year, as well as the day we officially declare the beginning of summer.

Here, we started summer with an uncharacteristically gray, misty and coldish day... but so it goes. The photos in this post were actually shot last night, at close to 9:00pm... the sun stays up a long time, here in the north.

Midsummer evening light...

Time Breaks, and How we Use Them

"Time" is a funny thing, especially the way we like to break it into chunks.

The moon, last night

Even though today is very little different from yesterday, we now have started a new segment we are calling "summer." I guess it's just how we humans organize our lives... "Yeah, I'll start on the project behind the shed... once summer gets here."

I guess the thing I really end up wondering about is whether this largely arbitrary segmentation is actually more of a hindrance, than a help.

I mean think about it: We often "wait" (till "next week," till "summertime," till "next year") to start projects and plans... would we start them immediately, if we didn't have some neat time-box to place them into?

I do wonder, sometimes...

When I was a Kid...

... the Solstice wasn't really something anyone noticed or paid attention to. 

Midsummer light

In Denmark, the Big Deal of this time of the year was "Sankt Hans Aften" (Translates roughly as "St. John's Eve") which is basically an ancient Pagan relic, still celebrated.

It tends to be a community event, and there are bonfires everywhere... traditionally from the middle ages, to scare away witches and evil spirits.

My own memories are mostly of riding our bikes back to our summerhouse after midnight... and it would still be mostly daylight-dusk (at midsummer, the sun only goes a few degrees below the horizon) and the smell of woodsmoke hanging in the air from all the bonfires... and in the hollows in the fields there would be ground fogs.

We'd get off our bikes and walk into the fields; into the fogs that reached only to our chests. It would be freezing cold on our bare legs where the cold fog had pooled, but still warm on our heads... it was about the most "supernatural" thing we experienced.

So, Today Marks the Start OF....?

So anyway, I found myself considering the whole "so now it is summer" thing, and pondering whether it meant that anything in my life would be different. 

Light over our labyrinth

Truth is, not a whole lot. To some small degree, my daily life is "informed" by summer because we have a retail shop in a tourist town, and summer means visitors, which hopefully means more business.

Even though tourist season typically is pretty good to us, I'm actually looking forward to a time when we no longer have this business, so my time will be more "my own."

Temporal freedom has always been important to me... but I have struggled to find an occupation that I both (a) enjoy and (b) can make money at on my own schedule. 

But so it goes.

Well... I'm going to go home and make a Solstice dinner of sorts. Seems like this turned into one of those "Ulog" things... unintentional, as it was.

How About YOU? Does the arrival of summer mean something specific to you? Do you "observe" the Solstice, in some way? Same applies if you're down in the Southern Hemisphere, and this is midwinter-- anything going on? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

created by @zord189


(As always, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 180621 17:23 PDT


I see the Summer Solstice as the end of the 182 increasingly longer days that ran since winter.

Even now the Earth is heading back to wintertime, even before the hot weather has hit. In this way the Earth is always “ahead” of the weather (Air), which always brings with it thunderous downpours (Water) by early August along with lightning (Fire). The Four Elements ushering in, as it were, the late summer days of less humidity.


right now the Moon’s path across the night sky is just about where the Sun would be at Winter Solstice... very low in the sky and setting Southwest.

I like that perspective... nature is really our best "clock," in terms of showing us what is really happening in our surroundings.

absolutely! One could argue that what we normally refer to as "civilization" is really just a temporary aberration from Natural Reality.

Living here in South Texas the summer solstice is just a reminder that there are at least 4 if not five more months of outrageous heat to go along with the two we have already had. The only difference is summer tends to mean more tropical humidity than the last few months so one might wish to grow gills in order to breath the thick air a little more efficiently. Such is life they say, if you can't stand the heat be Canadian and eat in the kitchen or something like that.
For me summer is the time to make as much money as possible because work tends to disappear during the winter months and the city tends to feel like a ghost town, the beaches are empty except for the local die hard beach bums, besides it's cold and you have to wear so many clothes... What fun is that?

Ah yes, I remember that! I lived in Austin for 20 years... and it seemed like there were two primary seasons: "Hot" and "Hotter."With occasional freezing rain in the winter... It was one of the reasons I eventually ended up moving north; spending the summers mostly indoors, in front of the air conditioner vent wasn't my idea of a great time... but I was born and raised in the high north.

Our summers kind of revolve around "tourist season" as well, which pretty much runs from early May to about Halloween.

You have such a polished, candid, and graceful way of writing. I am really enjoying following you!

I actually think of the solstice in much more practical terms... Like you, I'm at a fairly northern latitude (for the US anyway) and the sun has been peeking in the window far earlier than it has any right to the last few days. It is also still hanging around well after I try to put my toddler down for the night. So to me, what happened today just means that both of those challenges will slowly start getting easier :D

Thanks for the kind words; I like to think of it as "a conversation," on some level. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not so much!

I can see how that would put the "functional" spin on it... they are a lot of work (we raised three — but they have long since left the house).

Summer solstice, June 21 is one of my best friends birthday. That's what makes it special.

And that's certainly a good reason for a celebrative mood!

We had a real nice solstice in the far north, nice to see
so many posts about it! Very much enjoyed yours! ☀

Happy Summer Solstice 2U @denmarkguy! What did you have for dinner? :-)