This will probably be our last Summer Solstice from the 51st parallel. The first summer we were here, I was really excited about the longest day of the year, having seen just how short the shortest day was. I actually live-blogged the event, starting from sunrise at 4:44 a.m.
Last year I spent the day in Helsinki, even further north at 60° latitude. Around 9:30 p.m., I decided to take a walk in the park near the hotel. There was a path around Lake Töölönlahti, so I figured I'd start walking and turn around when it got dark. But by sunset, at 11 p.m., I was almost all the way around the lake and it was still light outside. I guess that will count as one of those moments I'll always remember, walking around Lake Töölönlahti in Helsinki at almost midnight.
Today I slept in. When I got up at 5:45, the sun was up and the back garden was alive with light. Sparky ran out, but hurried back in to get his Good Boy treat (for not barking so early in the morning, waking the neighbors). He must have wondered why I slept so late, well past the moment the sun rose over the pasture and streamed into our bedroom.
Tonight I just went out, at 10 minutes till eight, and took another photo of the daylight, still hovering over the pasture:
I took these photos that summer solstice six years ago, as I enjoyed the day with another golden dog. When I commemorated that day here on my blog, I had no idea I'd still be here six years on, or that I'd still remember the tiny details of that day—the roses, the pond, the lonely path through the woods.
But if I am, I hope I get another Summer Solstice to even the score. Balance is everything: an earth that tilts up must eventually tilt down, and the hours lost to darkness will eventually be made up by the eager sun, waking me in the wee hours again.