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20 June, 2012

Summer Solstice

Damn right, it's a portal.

Happy Solstice, Summer 2012 edition. 

As with several other solstices, I find myself in motion. During a decade or so of living in Hawai`i, most of my mainland trips coincided with a solstice, taking advantage of either the cheap airfares that the carriers offered to islanded expats to fill up return flights dumping Kalikimaka tourists, or getting away over the summer. Either way, being on a jet stretching or accelerating a longest or shortest day of the year. 

And now, again, only covering a much shorter distance (physically anyway). I'll pack up a truck and head 1.1 miles away to disgorge the contents (even at their exorbitant mileage rates, U-Haul will haul in less than a pentabuck). Nothing as obviously different as heading from the tropics to a Mid-Atlantic Winter, or even from a sub-tropical winter to an Interior Northwest blizzard, but a huge change.

The Solstice is maybe just a Symbol. But I'm not one to resist the temptation of grabbing onto the boomerang's pause as a moment of significance, of being (breathless) as the season turns. Decreasing to longing, or lengthening to contracting, the solstices have a magic that the dull equivalency of an equinox will never match. Ecclesiastical turn turn turn, Byrdsong jangling the hippie heart, the weightlessness of a cosmic shift,...however you want to feel it, the solstice sings to those who listen. 

I don't pretend to know how it will turn out. Usually, I'm more  fan of the Winter Solstice, dark though days may be, they're guaranteed to lengthen from there on out. The Summer one, depending on your perspective, is the augur of decline, or the peak. In the maritime northwest, I tend to think of it as more suited to the Western calendrical canon defines it: the beginning of Summer, that point at which days become warm and welcoming. 

At 47 or so, it may be optimistic to interpret this particular solstice as a parabolic peak, a halfway point of life, but then again, I'm happy enough not to look at it as a peak at all, just a vertex of some sort, a turning point. Maybe I'm riding that boomerang's return, turning my gaze to perceive what was once just a backdraft. Or maybe not. All I know is that I am moving.

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