“Why CANDLES?” objected Daisy, frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. “In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year.” She looked at us all radiantly. “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.”
“We ought to plan something,” yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.
“All right,” said Daisy. “What’ll we plan?” She turned to me helplessly. “What do people plan?”
That is today’s question: What can we do to “not miss” Summer Solstice?
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, this question is of the essence, because Summer Solstice is today. Furthermore, what does it mean to “not miss” the solstice? For ages, people around the world have observed and celebrated both the shortest and longest days of the year. An extremely simple answer might be that light matters. Of course, traditionally, it mattered in the literal sense (no sun = no seeing).
Now, as much as we’d like to turn night into day (hellooooo, Vegas!) and make our own hours, we still need the sun. Without it, we would die. Beyond that, the sun affects us emotionally too. A 2011 issue of Science Magazine discusses a study of social media usage. Tweets were increasingly positive as the days lengthened and increasingly negative as the days shortened. It wasn’t just seeing the sun that mattered, but seeing it more and more each day. This suggests that the Summer Solstice is our happiest day of the year (watch your tweets tomorrow). The simplest answer to the question of how to “not miss” the solstice is to do what makes you happy and thank the sun for its part in making you that happy and allowing you to do that thing that makes you happy. For those of you not planning to soak up as much SPF-deflected sun as possible, here are some other ideas:
SaraBethYoga is my absolute favorite. Choose a morning yoga routine from the playlist below. They run from 10 to 30 minutes.
Make a fairy home or other craft. It’s fun for kids, but no one will bogart your markers if it’s just you. If you want, you can make the house inside, just darting outside for supplies. When you’re finished, you can run out one more time and stick it under a shade tree. Be careful, because the sun will be chasing you, just like in Super Mario Bros. 3.
Gratitude Journal or Sketch
You may not see the sun much, but even inside your home, the sun has made your life better. Write or draw about that.
Night! Fire! Night fire. Even though waiting for sundown will take foreverrrrr, this is the perfect night for s’mores and stories. For a more solemn event, write down your troubles and worries, then toss the paper into the fire to be rid of them.
What NOT To Do
Daisy missed the Solstice, just like she did every year, by forgetting that the Earth doesn’t rotate perpendicular to its orbit around the sun and how that simple fact made her life possible and good. Instead, she shows us what NOT to do on the solstice. Don’t:
- Complain about how sophisticated you are.
- Invite your lover over for lunch with your husband.
- Drive to “calm your nerves.”
She sets the bar pretty low, folks. If none of my ideas above sound enticing, humor me with one round of “Mr. Golden Sun” and call it a day.