The first day of summer

It felt almost offensive to be returning from an urban weekend when the weather prescribed the ideal summer day; viz., azure sky with fluffy white cumulus, blazing temperature and balmy air. Late this afternoon I drove to the grocery store to replenish our provisions.  Everything about the day screamed summer! There was very little traffic for a business day of the week. I imagined that masses of people had launched their summertime resort and vanished into the interior. The grocery store echoed the abandonment of drivers. Once again It was though I were violating an unwritten summertime loyalty, that I should have instead been on a deck overlooking a pool, sipping a coloured drink and chortling with disregard.

In the Northern Hemisphere June 21st marks the Summer Solstice.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun travels along its northernmost path in the sky. This marks the astronomical start of summer in the northern half of the globe. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: the June solstice marks the astronomical start of winter, when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.

The June solstice occurs on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 5:14 A.M. EDT.

This solstice marks the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. (By longest “day,” we mean the longest period of sunlight hours.) On the day of the June solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year.

It has been an exceptionally verdant springtime leading to what promises to be a commensurately abundant summertime. The lush emerald colours have marked each passing day for the past numerous weeks. The rivers, creeks and marshes are yet high and swollen. It wasn’t however until today that I recognized the ineffable pleasure of summer. There isn’t anything that competes with summer in the Northern hemisphere. For example those who live in the Pacific Ocean or nearer the equator haven’t the contradiction of spring and summer as we have here.  There the distinction is less abrupt; and, naturally the jump from winter is far less vile. All this to say that when at last summer arrives, it is truly fortuitous.

The arrival of summer signals a soothing period of at least three months and possibly more if we have an Indian summer. The warm temperatures melt our collective disposition into one of ease and lethargic indulgence. Outdoor activity is heightened. Lounging in the afternoon sunshine is considered not only tolerable but healthful. The focus of business and industry adopts a tranquil energy.