The summer solstice arrives early in the Northern Hemisphere this year—at least according to the calendar—not because the earth has picked up speed in its travels around the sun, but because of the addition of February 29th to 2012, a Leap Year.
So, you may not be standing at Stonehenge, a Mayan ruin, or the Great Pyramid at Giza, but if you live above the equator you can still drink fermented honey, leap the bonfire, and stay up late on this longest day of the year, dancing with the fairies. Although it’s been so hot the last few days that we here might settle for the fermented honey. With plenty of ice.
In honor of this day, here is a poem by Flawn Williams, a clever take on Susan Cooper’s The Shortest Day, familiar to Winter Revelers near and far.
And so the Shortest Night came
and the power died
And everywhere down the hallways of the condos
Came people moaning, griping, seeking
To drive the heat away.
They lighted rooms with their iPhones’ flashlight apps;
They hung their walls with USB powered fans;
They imbibed obscure ales from their dark silent fridges
To keep themselves alleviated.
And when the next day’s sunshine blazed awake
They staggered, sweltering.
Through all the long hot hallways you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delirium,
This Longest Day,
Till once more power returns to the sleeping land:
They shower, recharge, give thanks,
And dearly love their fridge,
And hope for no more blackouts.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Well, cool, y’all!
WELL, COOL, Y’ALL!