You don't have to understand the world. You just have to find your own way around in it. - Albert Einstein

Sunday, 22 December 2013

on the Longest Day

It's a long, hot day.

There's been a lot of these lately; it's that time of year. I've had a certain song stuck in my head lately, just because it's called 'One Long Day.'

The Summer. Sometimes that word sounds like a prison sentence to me.

This is a hard time for me, every year. I don't cope well with the heat. I can't stand the bright sunshine. On days like these, I just have to stay indoors, and stay still as much as possible. If I move around too much on a hot day, that's enough to get overheated and feel terribly sick. So I spend most of these long hot days lying on my bed with the fan on, napping or reading or doing puzzles. I've certainly been getting through a lot of reading lately. Several excellent books have helped make the days fun and exciting, as long as I stay in the book.

Then the sun goes down, and it gets cool, and I am reprieved of my sentence once more, until dawn. I can breathe again, I can move again. I have to do all the things I need to do during the evening and night hours. I can't bear to go to sleep during the night sometimes, just because I can't bear the thought of missing out on those precious cool hours while I'm asleep. Better to sleep in the day when it's too hot to move. So I get all upside down with my sleeping. It's too hot to turn on a stove to cook anything. The heat affects my stomach. I had a horrible 48-hour gastro recently.

Aargh. Every year, when the summer comes on, I think, I'm not going to survive another summer. But so far, I have.

Today is the longest day. The point of Solstice passed at 4:11 am, local time. As I'm typing this, it's close enough to midday. This is the moment when the sun is as high in the sky as it gets. The Sun King is at the height of His powers. I've gotten to the half-way point of my house arrest sentence, and I've survived so far. As of tomorrow, the days will begin getting shorter. In a month or so, I will notice that the sun is setting earlier and lower. Honestly, this is what the Solstice means to me more than anything. It means that I have survived the Summer to the point where the Sun is highest, and this shows me that I can survive the rest of it. I start to feel less afraid of the sunshine.

Many people are celebrating today, or performing rites of some kind to mark the passing of the Solstice. I'm so glad that someone is out there doing it, because it can't be me. It's too hot for me be to carrying on like that. I am reminded of my decision to stop marking the points of the Wheel of the Year, and I am so relieved that I don't feel that obligation any more. I'm also aware of how even if I don't do anything outwardly manifest in this regard, I still feel the points of the Wheel of the Year. I could never not know them.

I do remember to be thankful for the gifts of Summer. I think of how the green plants and other living things are loving the sunshine, even if I'm not. I love seed heads on grasses. I don't know why, I'm just so often struck by the astounding beauty in a growing seed head when the grass gets long. That's something that only happens in summer. My favourite thing about the summer up here is the thunderstorms. Oh my, they are glorious. I live for the thunderstorms, each one an oasis in the desert of the hot weather.

But mostly, I stay still and quiet as possible, waiting for the Wheel to turn. 

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