High Summer

Today is the Summer Solstice, Litha, Midsummer’s Day, the longest day of the year. Looking out my window as I write, it appears this will be a day to mark rather than a remarkable day. Gray, fairly calm, and nondescript, but still, it’s high summer. Still, it’s home.

I’m not complaining, mind. A day that starts early, with a walk outside in the fresh air, stepping over to the dooryard rhubarb patch to choose four stalks, which will make two mornings worth of hot, tart stew, then wandering back inside to light the stove and get the coffee going . . . this is a good day. Not much different from any other summer day, but I appreciate it all the same.

We’ll have no high temperatures, beating sunshine, bikinis and Coppertoneā„¢ on this day. But the eagles are dive bombing fish in the fjord, sea lions are playing and hunting, perhaps we’ll see whales later. Bird song fills the air, while the gang of teenage ravens try to drown it all out with their near constant cawing in the trees over our heads. The leaves and pine boughs are lush and green, the season’s first mushrooms are beginning to peep from the loam. No doubt tonight’s dinner will feature a green salad, fresh from the garden. High Summer.

Sometime later, we’ll go a bit pagan, with a beach bonfire. It’s a practical move, as we try to reduce the amount of unusable slash on the property. Rather than waiting till near dark, we’ll start it as the tide’s falling, so that the next incoming tide will cover the coals. If the wind comes up too much, we’ll cancel the plan, Summer Solstice or no. No sense in courting fire danger. But it’ll mark the day with something unusual, something fun.

I’m alarmed to realize that we’ve reached midsummer already. As I feared, the season’s slipping away too fast. There’s much to do before autumn closes in. The circle turns, but on days like this, it seems more like it spins.


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