Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Stonehenge solsticeToday is the longest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere. In our town, we will enjoy 14 hours and 55 minutes of sunlight today, and at precisely 6:34 pm today, the sun will reach its most northerly spot of the year.

Celebrate! While the warmest temperatures of the summer won’t come for another six weeks, per normal trends (although at 90º today, we’re already down to bikinis, or less), today is the day when sun lovers and solar panel owners can rejoice!

Solstice holding sunSummer solstice celebrating is one of my bucket list items, but I’ve been too otherwise occupied to do much planning for it. This morning I checked for Bloomington solstice events and found that the local druids jumped the gun and had their official celebration last Saturday. Too late! I’m on my own to wear flowers in my hair and dance naked in the forest.

Seriously, I’m celebrating by, first of all, taking time from my list of duties to write this blog. Blogging has taken too much of a back seat lately, though I have a number of things to report. For example, I finished the Harvard MOOC I signed up for; I’ve been doing more planting in my rock-wall gardens; I’ve got the fabric and pattern ready for list item “make some clothes for myself”; and yesterday I procured a perfect piece of furniture for list item “refinish a piece of furniture.” As the sun and time march on, work on my list does also move forward!

Strawberry moonAs a second way to celebrate, for lunch today I put strawberries in my lunch smoothie instead of the usual carrot. The summer solstice is the time to celebrate the fruits, literally, of the generous Earth, and not only are carrots vegetables, but they are also late vegetables as opposed to an early summer fruit such as strawberries. In addition, this is the first time in 70 years (or since 1967, depending on which source you read) that the solstice coincides with a full moon; such a full moon is called a Strawberry Moon, and there may not be another one in my lifetime (the year 2062, in fact; I’ll be 106).

Third, Bob and I are meeting a friend for dinner tonight, and I’ll consider that part of the celebration. As an aside, this particular friend, though he’s unabashedly a political conservative, has enough druid in him to be game for naked dancing in the forest, I bet. I wonder whether Bob does!

Anyway, I have my alarm set for 6:34 tonight so we can toast to the sun as it begins its summer pause over the Tropic of Cancer, and the alarm will go off again at 8:35 pm when the Strawberry Moon is set to rise. I’ll then spend some time gazing at its beauty and contemplating the gifts of the sun and all the wonders of nature. I’ll be fully clothed, in case you’re wondering.