Now let us speak of summer

21 Jun

Happy Summer Solstice. The first day of summer and the longest day of the year. At least in the Northern Hemisphere where I reside.

It all has to do with axial tilt and other astronomical what-not.

The summer solstice is also known as midsummer. Pagans celebrated with bonfires, which seems counter-intuitive to me since it is hot as blazes this time of year, so why would you want to build a fire? It has something to do with celebrating the sun. Midsummer reminds us of the play by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer’s Night Dream. It is from this particular play that we get the line, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” To that I say, “ah, we’ve all been there.”

I guess if this is the longest day of the year, we’d best take advantage of it. If I had planned ahead, I would have taken a vacation day. Too late to call in sick–my boss reads my blog.

School is out and that means the little hoodlums have way too much time on their hands. I remember when I was a kid, various relatives would try to keep me busy over the summer by sending me to summer camp. I went to a YMCA day camp that ended each session with a sleepover. I don’t really remember the sleepover but there were Krispy Kreme donuts the next morning. Then they packed us on a school bus to drive us home. I got car sick and, well, I don’t have to tell you what happened. A boy never forgets the first time he vomits in public.

Life’s little rites of passage. Brings a tear to the eye.

Summer was a big deal when I was a kid. When I first started junior high, I decided to play the clarinet in the school band (don’t ask me why) so I was required to attend summer band. I met a friend at summer band who would go on to be my college roommate and a life long friend. Not that any of us were thinking about college in 7th grade. Summer camp, summer band–these things eventually gave way to summer jobs.

And now I work all year round. Circle of life.

Summer is the season when people in my part of the world tend to say wise things like, “Is it hot enough for you?” or, my personal favorite, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”  Yeah, well, it’s f@cking hot, that’s all I know. This time of year we get those weather forecasts where the temperature is 95 but there’s something called “the heat index” so if you go outside you’re going to feel like it is 105 or some other really high, hot number.

When I was still in school, all the way until I graduated from college, when there was the break from school, there was always this sense that you had to make the best of the summer. It was a special block of time that was granted to you and you had to make the most of it. Summer tasted like orange pop sickles and salt water and it slipped away too fast.

Summer plans. Summer dreams…Summer flings. Ah, Summer…

Summer is not quite as special to me as it was once upon a time. But it is a  season that evokes some grand memories–besides the one about throwing up on the bus on the way home from summer camp, I mean.

Have a happy summer and a happy Tuesday.

Now, here’s one of my favorite songs about summer. Sigh.

One Response to “Now let us speak of summer”

  1. That Weather Girl June 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    This summer, in spite of the record heat, promises to be a great one. I have the summer four day work week – which means I have the summer three day photography weekends. And that is well worth tolerating the heat!

    Happy summer to you too!

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