It was as light as the dawn at 9 o’clock last night, the longest day of the year, summer solstice. Or should I say, lightest day of the year?
We sat on the patio of my favorite restaurant, decked out and delighted with my parents, the sky a mosaic of blue-gray clouds and white peeks of sky. In the direction of the eventual sunset, streaks of pink were silently painting in.
It was, in a word, remarkable. Late into the evening, brilliant bright light as if the day still had hours to go.
It was, in a word, freeing. The sunrise in the 5 a.m. region and by the time I awake, it’s solid lightness, awakening, awareness.
Where I live, nine months of the year tend toward the darkness. We grasp at light like people coming up from too long under water, gasping and grasping to hold onto what keeps us living. It’s too short, of course, this time of brightness, this time of seeing everything, of open eyes and beautiful skies and the feeling that I can do anything because I have the time in which to do it.
Dinner ended, and we drove slowly home. A friend came over to sit on the patio in the waning light and talk as if we had never talked. As if it had been too long. As if the day would never end.
Eventually, we moved inside to the couch, only because bugs were sprinkling by in the now-dark. We cut the a/c and opened the windows. We talked until my eyes threatened to close.
And then, I slid into bed beside my quiet husband, and we listened to the air sail through the window screen, basking in the knowledge that the darkness does not last forever, that in fact, especially now, it is fleeting, and we can live in the light.
In the book, The Path of the Spiritual Sun, it says that the summer solstice is a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and within each and every person, and to reflect upon the potential for consciousness to awaken.
This time of solstice can and should remind us how precious each day and season is, and how fleeting. The longest and lightest day of the year gives way to progressively shorter days, and less light, and we cannot, should not, must not, take that light, that enlightenment, for granted.