Saturday, June 27, 2009

The longest day of the year

Monday was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday, the sun went behind the hills a few minutes before 8:00 pm here in San Diego. As I looked out the window and enjoyed the view for a moment, I was remember the longest day of the year during a summer that I think was 10 years ago. Maybe 11.*

I lived in Michigan then, and it was my second summer there. I still consider it a great injustice that I survived five very cold, snowy and long Winters followed by five still-cold, mushy, gray Springs in Michigan before I experienced my first glorious, green, amazing Summer there. Ah, summer. But back to the real story.

One of the glorious things about summer is that daylight just lasts forever. Seriously. Sunsets around 9:30 pm were something I had never before experienced, and it was just awesome. I guess it's a perk received as you go farther north, that one gets more daylight hours in summer in trade for a shorter warm season. Did I mention the five long, cold winters?

So that summer, I decided that the only suitable way to mark the official start of summer and the longest day of the year was to drive out to the beach, put my toes in the sand and watch the sunset. With friends. And wine. Really, it was wonderful. So wonderful that I imagined I would make it a tradition and do it every year.

Somehow, it did not become a tradition. If I did it again once or twice, I don't at all remember it. I live about the same distance from a beach now as I did then, and I haven't done this once since relocating to California six years ago. Maybe the magic is lessened by six years of nearly perpetual summer and no snow, but I think it's just forgetfulness because I still think that sunsets are the greatest show on earth.

So magical, that I often fail to notice them, despite the view from the beautiful place I call home. Here's a little piece of magic from tonight.

* Correction: the official scrapbook has been checked, and this was actually only 8 years ago, in 2001.
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  1. Yes, I have fond memories of that sunset. And wine. :-) There was some magic that night in the colors of the sky and the love of good friends. I thought about that night this year, too. Thanks for remembering it with me.

  2. I used to love the sunsets from Salt Lake--the color of the sky was undescribable. I remember one distinct time where people actually pulled over on the freeway in order to stop and stare. It was an amazing time to remember the handiwork of God. Still is.