Hard to believe last Friday was the first day of summer. Summer solstice is the moment when the sun stands still. Well, that’s what they said in olden times, although we know that really never happened. The dictionary says: the sun + sistere, to cause to stand still; 1. Either of two points on the sun’s ecliptic at which it is farthest north or farthest south of the equator.
Summer solstice is the time when the sun is farthest from the equator: June 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. Yes, it is a marker of time in the endless cord of times, when summer arrives lush with warm days and green abundance. Now the daylight will slowly diminish because of the earth’s rotation, bringing us closer to autumn.
My petunias are growing aromatic and beautiful. The roses are growing full, strong, and filling with buds. In the mornings I hear the crickets, still making their nightly song. The birds fill the air with song, but diminish as the days warm up. They are busier now, taking care of their offspring, bringing insects and protein to their tiny babies. Did you know a pair of swallows catches and feeds 1,000 leafhoppers to its young in just one day? A yellow-shafted flicker will dispose of 5,000 ants between noon and sundown. Insects are the bird’s harvest of feasts.
Remember, summer is briefly ours to enjoy. Summer solstice arrived and all around us is the sense of summer’s forever-ness, like the nights glowing starlight. But summer is here and then gone. We must enjoy the smell of hayfield fragrances, listen to  babbling brooks, and venture near marshy lands to see all the world of insects and wildlife. The bogs team with amphibians and green lush grasses. Look to our beautiful Mt. Shasta and see how brown spots are appearing in the melting snowfields.
Now is the time to listen to the humming of the bees, enjoy the calm breezes under an umbrella on the deck, and watch swooping swallows in evening flights.
Maybe it is time to fish a creek, walk along the Sacramento, or make your way up to see Hedge Creek Falls along the Sacramento River above Dunsmuir. It’s time to lie under a deciduous tree, feel its coolness, and read a dreamy book. That is what summertime is for, to enjoy life!
The urgency of spring is gone. Now is the time to eat ripened berries and fruit.  Bees replenish their hives with honey. People enjoy wild flowers in high mountain meadows and view colors along meandering roadsides. Exploring one’s yard to see nests of newly hatched robin eggs calls for examination. The earth is blessed with all its glory this time of year.
My three guys are fishing off the coast of Baja California. It’s big fish exploring with pods of dolphins playfully swimming around the large Farallon fishing boat. It is time for experiences ... made vivid to remember all one’s lifetime. They are experiencing the wonder of Cabo San Lucas, with its beautiful new harbor. They’re enjoying Mexican hospitality of waterfront shops, resort hotels, and evening cool ocean breeze temperatures.
The sights and sounds of Mexico, the experiences made there to remember, make summer solstice unusually wonderful.
Yes, life is good.
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