The Longest Day of the Year

Today, June 21, the sun will strike the exact spot on Stonehenge and line up an arrow of light that has been constant since roughly 2100 BCE. For 4,000 years, mankind has been talented, observant and smart enough to know that the movement of the sun and moon makes a difference in our lives.stonehenge

The rest of us will check the Sunlit Earth widget on our computers, grin at the fat sine wave of shadow that shows the arctic circle has 24 hours of sun today, and the antarctic areas get none. Or maybe not notice.

My mother and father both died in June, my father 27 years ago, my mother more recently, four years ago. They figured they’d held the world together all winter and it was time to let go.

images-11.jpegIn the Western Hemisphere it is the beginning of summer, but there isn’t a crone who doesn’t know, secretly, that the sun now begins its journey back to winter. The hottest months are still to come, but the sun has hit the Tropic and will move back to winter. Although summer is the cheery, bright and happy season, it is always at the Summer Solstice that I realize, with a shock, that I have lived most of my life. That the time ahead is much less than the time I’ve lived. And I always wonder how much I can do to strike a few sparks that leave a mark.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at Images: Stonehenge courtesy; sun, (c) 2007 Quinn McDonald, all rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “The Longest Day of the Year

  1. Stacey–
    Thanks for posting. The solstice is such a great time to focus on who we are and how we show up in the world.
    Competition can be a wonderful thing, but unfortunately, it is so often taken as cut-throat instead of a small boost to see how you are doing. I got more comments on the Somerset article than any other since the copyright one.

    Pete–I’m always glad I don’t have small kids this time of year. Getting them to bed and to sleep must be so hard!

  2. It’s winter solstice in Australia. I read elsewhere this means “time to see things differently.” Have just read your ‘competition’ article in the most recent Somerset Studio. I am intrigued by the idea, “creativity is really a way of being competitive with yourself.” I’ll ponder that one further.

  3. This year I spent the solstice in Tampere, Finland, where the sun doesn’t really go down that day! It’s amazing; you feel like you don’t need to sleep at all!

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