The official start of summer isn’t for a few weeks yet, which means the hours and minutes of daylight are still getting longer. But a lot of us think of June 1 as the beginning of summer, marked by schools letting out, maybe some work hours adjusting, and thinking of vacation… or at least a trip to someplace nice to relax, like the beach or the mountains. I know I used to welcome June as the parole from school, and even when I was working full-time there was a sense of relief that we had made it through the winter.
There are still a few roadblocks to happiness: rising inflation thanks to a global pandemic that disrupted the flow, and that matter of a war going on in Ukraine. But if the figures are correct, people are still doing what it takes to get out, get away, if not for the sake of the summer ritual, than for their own way of finding a way to shake off the past and hope for a better time, at least for a little while.
It’s also the official start of the Atlantic
hurricane tropical cyclone season, and we’ve already had an opening number cross Mexico and possibly bring weather to Florida. But even then, we know what to do. Or at least we think we do. And for me, June marks a couple of memories of loss and of renewal. So it all seems to balance out.
At least I hope so.
So…..Shakespeare’s “MidSummer Night’s Dream” is set on the shortest night of the year- in England, that night is ‘dark’ from +/- 10:30 pm to 3:30 am. If that night, 21 June, is ‘midsummer’, than summer truly runs from 1 May to 2 August ( May Day to Lughnasadh).
This traditional northern hemisphere calendar orientation has helped me avoid mid-winter blues, because the Winter runs from Halloween to Groundhogs Day, and the midwinter solstice celebrations denote the ‘return of the light’.
I have lived by this calendar for most of my long life, and it consistently places me in better ‘sync’ with the natural world…
One of the reasons I moved to Florida was for the longer daylight hours. The difference between December 21 and June 21 is about 3 hours, and when I lived in northern Michigan, the seemingly endless gloom weighed heavily on me. I love going to Alaska in June; the land of the midnight sunlight.