This year’s summer solstice (in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the winter solstice in the Northern) is at 1711 hours GMT on the 21st of December, or about 1:11 am on the 22nd, Perth time. So pretty much right now-ish (depending on how accurately WordPress pushes this post up and when you read it -grin-).
In the middle of the shortest night, a star that never sleeps is hidden from view for the tiniest of the year’s times.
Yesterday, and today, are the longest days. The days when the sun’s light at noon falls most directly on us in the South, when the moment-to-moment sunfall is at its most intense of all the year. In each moment, the heat spared from the fusing of each of thousands of atoms, touching our faces. Or at least our suncream.
Tomorrow the days will begin to get shorter again, but minisculely, quietly, with the slowness of a child’s swing in that fraction of a second as it starts to fall back to earth. In four weeks, or maybe six, we’ll look in surprise at the sunset and think for the first time that maybe the day didn’t go quite as long as we were expecting. But it will take that time.
The heatwaves are still coming – the southern Earth has warmed beneath us and is nearly holding its greatest quantity for the year. Perihelion is still to come – the time when the Earth’s orbit is closest to the sun, usually late January. Summer is far from over.
But eventually, the sunfall in each moment will lower to the point where we feel the difference. Where the Earth is releasing more heat than it receives, and slowly cooling its own mass down. The nights will turn cool and chill, and the year will swing into the darker half.
Until then, I celebrate the heart of stars, the golden shining light and heat that burns in silent and untouched fury around us, that drives almost every cell of life on this planet to burn with motion and action and intent. May the day be long and bright in your hearts as well as in the world around us, and may the heart of a star reflect into each deepest corner of our lives.