Well, that good old Summer Time is here. June 21. The Summer Solstice. The sun has reached its super duper point in the sky, and we are at our longest day.
We all know how it works. This earth we stand on is constantly moving this way or that. The rotation of us tilts, in fact. So when the Solstices occur, our good Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted at 23.4 degrees.
It is this tilting that accounts for our seasons. Here, in Ohio, from March to September, our hemisphere is tilted more toward the sun. That gives us spring and summer. The warmer.
Earth. Our home. But we are not the only planet with solstices. Any planet with a tilted rotational axis has them. Just like us. Those scientists who study such things, even follow the seasons on other planets. That is EVERY other planet in our system. We all rotate.
Back to us.
We humans, historically, have made this a big dang deal. The Summer Solstice. The Winter Solstice. And why not. Long and short days are something to notice. But there is more than just noticing.
Like Stonehenge. I’ve never been there, but I have read that on the summer solstice, the “Heel Stone,” which stands outside Stonehenge’s main circle, lines up with the rising sun. Somebody was doing some figuring when they placed that rock. A long time ago. In a land far away.
Another historical rock placement. The Pyramids of Giza. Those big, big, big stone structures appear to be aligned with the sun. If they are viewed from the Sphinx, the sun sets between the pyramids of Khufu and Khafre during their summer solstice. Or so I am told. I don’t think I’ll ever stand on top of the Sphinx and look. Somehow, that scares me. The human head on a lion’s body. Something went terribly wrong there, I think.
Here in America, we don’t really have anything as ancient and cool as Stonehenge, or the Pyramids. However, if you run up to Alaska, you can catch a ball game.
In Fairbanks, Alaska, those residents can get up to 22.5 hours of daylight during the summer. Which is just crazy, those White Nights. But they are good sports about it. During summer solstice, they celebrate with a nighttime baseball game. It is called the Midnight Sun Game. They’ve been doing this a long time. Since 1906. That’s 114 games. It isn’t Stonehenge. But.
So yes, it is Summer. We should give cheerful thanks to Mother Earth for this.
And perhaps, apologies, I think. This big ball is a beautiful gift from the planet gods. It is the only one we have, so we better not screw it up. Although, it appears we are headed in that direction. Small brained humans.
The worst part, is that these days, we KNOW better. Our science has shown us as much. Yet there are those “in power” who choose to ignore this, because the dollar is more important to them, than future life.
This is sad. Because precious earth is asking us to notice. See her frisky weather, if we haven’t seen it already. Notice the oceans filling with plastic. The glaciers melting. See the animal extinctions, adding up daily.
One of these days, in her rotations, she may turn on us. When we’ve left her no other choice.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir
“Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden