Summer. 

The calendar says we’re close to the Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year is about to come and go, the Sun reaching its highest position with one of the Earth’s poles reaching maximum tilt. This is another of the many wonders of our planet and the mysterious workings of our galaxy. 

Thus far, the weather seems more spring-like. But we trust the heat of summer will emerge and the early summer showers will subside. For now, I’m enjoying the cool days, afternoon showers, thunder and cool nights. There’s something special about thunder and a gentle shower. 

The thunder reminds us of the power of weather and how Mother Nature always has the last word. Each day, regardless of season, is a reminder of the miraculous shifts that occur as the Earth goes through its rotation.  One needs to stop and appreciate the beauty around us a little more often.

There are sports that we associate with summer: golf, baseball, swimming, hiking and fishing. 

Movies have been made to celebrate summer: “Caddyshack,” “The Seven-Year Itch,” “American Graffiti,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Grease,” “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Rear Window” to name a few.  

There are books marketed as beach reads: “The Great Gatsby,” “Robinson Crusoe,” “The Summer Book,” “Ragtime,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Lonesome Dove,” “The Joy Luck Club” and “The Right Stuff.” 

People head to the beach, the mountains, the lakes to cookout, play games, meet up with family and generally commune with whatever. Some go camping in luxury vehicles; some pitch a tent. Hot dogs, burgers, various potato salads and homemade ice cream are prepared and consumed with vigor. We try and cram in as much as we can into the short summer season. Gardens are sown for fall harvest. 

Badminton, croquet and horseshoes are dusted off to play in many backyards. Birdwatching, catching fireflies and listening to the sound of the night are unique during the heart of the summer.  

Poets have paid homage to the season of summer. I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites. I hope you enjoy the poetry and the summer.

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this give life to thee,” William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.

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