Merry Solstice, to my gentle readers, Long ago and far away in the land of childhood, I learned about the Solstice, I learned it was the longest day of the year, and that it was time to dig the first garlic and that the strawberries were ripe, and my Gran would send me off to pick the tiny wild berries, with a rather large cereal bowl. I remember that bowl well, it was cream with dark blue flowers and a checkboard design around the rim. Sometimes I think that that particular bowl started my interest in antiques. It was certainly an old bowl when my Gran was young, and I have never seen another like it. Sadly one day the bowl broke neatly into 2 sections. And was never seen by me again. Strawberries never tasted as good again, either. The idea of the longest day of the year was confusing to my young mind, it never seemed to be any longer than the day before or the day after. each year Mom would tell her story about when she went Strawberry picking, thinking she had much longer than a few minutes of extra daylight, and suddenly she was a long way from home, in the dark, with an overflowing pail of berries. All turned out well though.
Around here the Summer Solstice day is about 15 hours long. Gradually since the day after the Winter Solstice the days have grown longer, it didn't take long for us to notice that either, but the return trip to the day of Winter Solstice is not quite as obvious. In a couple weeks, the sun will be farthest from the earth, at a time when in the Northern hemisphere summer weather will be really starting to get hot and humid. And the reverse, that a couple of weeks after the Winter Solstice nearest the sun, when as the day begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen. Here we find ourselves, at the time when the suns radiance is at it's peak, surrounded by the glory of the plants and flowers in bloom we wished for when we were surrounded by the works of man, trying to keep warm. As the wheel of the year turns.