It’s Fantastic Friday, and what a Friday it is. The first day of summer!
At 12:04am Central Time (5:04 UCT or Coordinated Universal Time), the summer solstice began. Today the sun marks its most northerly point in the sky and brings us in the northern hemisphere the longest day of the year.
Of course, long days are associated with summer, and for me summer is a time to kick back a little and dream. I don’t think I’m alone in that.
The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and the Sphinx in such a way that if you stand at the Sphinx on the solstice, the sun sets exactly between the two pyramids. Similarly, at Stonehenge the solstice sunrise aligns perfectly with the giant stones. Why the fascination with the longest day of the year? What did the ancients think when they watched the sun rise over silent monoliths, or set perfectly between two manmade temples pointing into the sky?
I think they were celebrating the light and warmth the solstice brings, but also taking the opportunity to dream a little, too. Long summer days give us more time to work and play. I feel more energetic in the summer; waking up to early dawns and going to bed later to enjoy the full benefit of luminescent summer evenings.
Though somewhat sleep deprived, summer light also sets my thoughts into motion. The year is halfway over. What have I accomplished that I wanted to? What am I dreaming of that I haven’t yet attempted? In the light of summer, all things look possible and taking stock isn’t a depressing exercise of what I haven’t accomplished, but more of a hopeful outlook of what can still be done.
So celebrating the longest day of the year has a dream-like quality to it, something our ancestors realized. Tomorrow the days get shorter. The shadows lengthen. The year descends. But today holds enough light to bring hope to our dreams for the days ahead.