Thursday, June 21, 2012
First full day of summer, 2012
The solstice occurred yesterday afternoon.
Today being the first full day of summer, is the longest day of the year. In Portland, the sun is bright and the air is warm, portending a hot season to come. (Although weather prognosticators say that, starting this evening, there will be showers and cooler temperatures in the immediate future.)
What is it about summer that causes the mind to relax? Is it some vestige from the days when most humans were engaged in food production? Is the natural tendency to unwind in the summer a residual instinct that comes from the days when we worked the land? During summer, the crops were sown. The hard work of tilling and planting was over. The labor of the harvest must await the ripening. Summer was relative ease.
Or is the sense of well-being that summer endows even older than that? Does it predate the discovery of agriculture? Perhaps summer's comfort stems from those days when Stone Age humans saw the low ebb of mankind's eternal enemies, cold and darkness.
Summer is the yearly culmination of the sun's glory. And these last few days of warm temperatures have made all the difference for the tomatoes, melons, and peppers I planted in pots on my back deck.
If this turns out to be another summer like the summer of 2009, Maty and I are in plenty of fruit!
Summer 2012! Bring it on!