23 Jun 2017

Summer Has Arrived – What Does It Mean?

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We’ve just passed the summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest height as seen from our northern hemisphere, officially welcoming in the quarter of the year we call summer.

In the US and most of the western world, summer solstice passes without much ado. To be sure, pockets of celebrants do mark it with rituals, some with pagan precedents, for example: Watching the sunrise at Stonehenge, whose stones represent the solstice; 8,000 fires lit in the mountain range of Ehrwald Basin in Austria; accentuating shadows on a Mayan temple in Mexico, and equating midsummer with John the Baptist’s birthday, with Catholics specifically designating it St. John’s Day.

Overall though, for most people summer solstice is just a day where they might say, “Oh, it’s June 20th/21st, isn’t that…summer solstice?” Its transition is not felt from one day to the next, but is rather a mark of the changes one feels in the air, over time, with summer solstice in the middle. Spring has sprung, and now it just gets hotter until it slowly tapers off, leading into autumn. Summer solstice, therefore, is the pinnacle mid-measurement between the onsets of the spring and autumn seasons.

Summer solstice also happens to be the beginning of summer school vacation, the true measurement of the beginning of summer children and parents alike, right? Summer solstice means no more homework? Summer solstice means camp? Summer solstice, we love you! That’s what the kids say. Parents, on the other hand, scramble to keep kids occupied because their work schedules simply don’t have a semester end. At the same time, parents do often take a couple of weeks off during the summer – it’s the most family-vacationed time of the year due to school being off, and the warmer, outdoor-conducive weather.  Summer solstice, as such, brings on the fun.

Summers in Rockaway, New York, could be hotter, and could be colder. With high’s in the ’80s with some humidity, and a smattering of rain forecasted for the next month, the weather here is, gratefully, pretty amenable to enjoying the outdoors. And with school out, summer is a convenient time for the children and grandchildren of Rockaway Care Center residents to visit more regularly.  Summer solstice, bring it on!



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