I have a long standing love/hate relationship with Summer Solstice.
Living in Alaska, we have a habit of celebrating this day of longest possible daylight in the proverbial “land of the midnight sun” with parties, midnight BBQ’s, all-night baseball games … pretty much everything except possibly fireworks.
With a full 22 hours of functional daylight (in south-central Alaska, where I live), followed by a half-hearted dusk and then dawn again in quick succession, fireworks would be pretty lackluster. Also a fire danger.
Yes, Summer Solstice is the official start of summer. Yes, if I chose to, I could head outside right now, at 10:30 pm, and go for a drive with little need for headlights other than obeying the letter of the law.
The sky is still summer blue between the clouds as I type this, and the mountains across the valley still clearly visible. Summer in Alaska is truly amazing, and I DO love it.
I still remember one late June night, just a year or two after moving to Alaska. I was driving home from Anchorage at 2:00 am, the middle of the night, after picking up a new baby Pygmy goat at the airport. I was gritty-eyed from lack of sleep – and still marveling that dawn was already well advanced. I’ve never lost that sense of marvel.
But I also find it to be the oddest sensation. It’s daylight outside, and yet the silence is almost deafening. Standing outside in my yard, I realize the birdsong is missing. They’ve all been smart enough to go to bed.
I suppose I should follow their lead.
For me, much as I enjoy summer; Summer Solstice itself means only one thing. Tomorrow, we begin the slow but inevitable slide back towards darkness.
One thought on “The Longest Day”
Same here, Deb, even though our nights are longer than yours. I vote we move summer solstice to late August. What do you think? 😀