The brevity of summer solstice | Passing It On

By Crystal Linn | Jun 20, 2014

Several years ago I realized that I have a love-hate relationship with the summer solstice.

Living in Washington state all of my life may have something to do with this.

As a child I never heard the term summer solstice, and rarely heard the adults talk about the longest day of the year.

All I knew was that the days were long and warm, and that I was happy. Whereas I hated the winter when the days were dark, damp and cold.

I attended a private college in Idaho where we experienced ‘real’ seasons, as opposed to the damp/dry and cloudy/clear weather I experienced as a child here in Washington.

For some reason the short days of Idaho’s winters did not disturb me as much. Maybe it was because of my active campus life, or because one could actually see the stars as opposed to a blanket of dark clouds overhead.

For years, I shared how I hated winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and how I loved the longest day of the year when the summer solstice finally arrived.

As I mature and analyze my life – and life in general – I see the irony of my opinions.

In reality, I appreciate the winter solstice, because it means the annual cycle is on the up-swing, and the days will begin to get longer. However, I find the day of the summer solstice bittersweet.

I do love the long day of sunshine, when it is a sunny day with no clouds. However, it is so fleeting.

Only 24 hours to cherish the longest day of the year, while trying to work and maintain a busy life-style. Only a few 24 hours, then the day vanishes until the following year.

Maybe that is why our ancestors took time out to celebrate this glorious, this precious 24 hour time-span.

After I finish writing this column, I am going to grab my date book and write in it that next year I will give myself a vacation and celebrate the special day instead of mourning its brevity, and I want to celebrate in Idaho or California – or somewhere that I am guaranteed a sunny day.


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