There is a subtle change in the atmosphere; one that is hard to notice. The sun has already climbed to its highest northern point and is thinking about moving back south. Oh, I know it isn’t the sun moving but rather the earth but it seems like the sun does the moving. The first day of summer begins in the northern hemisphere when the sun stands directly over the equator usually around June 21-23.
Then each days gets longer and longer until the sun runs its course and starts back down south around August 21-23. Farmers and gardeners note the change with the way plants respond to the sun. The green plant life responds to the days growing longer by spurts of growth. The grass grows longer and thicker; likewise the stems of plants grow longer and put out more leaves.
I liken the sun’s journey to a climb up a mountain. It is a struggle to go up and up but if I take the time to reach goals like to a certain tree or plateau I can get to the top without such a struggle. Of course a steady climb is the best like the sun taking its journey one day.
Then I reach the top, the crest, the ridge my goal. What did I expect? There are very few places where the ridge is well defined but rather another series of highs and lows, level and more ridges. Even the rocky cliffs do not usually have a definite line. So I reach the highest point and the only way to go is down. But I usually have a reluctance to start back down right away, I have to take time to appreciate the climb. So I linger and explore around a bit and give myself time to enjoy and appreciate my accomplishment.
So it seems it is with the sun. It has reached its summit but it seems to linger before we become aware that it has made its turn and is starting back down. The day light hours seem to be about the same and certainly the heat is still with us. In fact the hottest days are usually in July and August. But the days are getting shorter about two minutes each day. Plant life also makes subtle changes; they seem to be more concerned with making seeds rather than more green life. Even the grass in the lawn puts on seed pods. Already the dogs are coming in from their hunts with more burrs.
So, school children, the summer is half over; we will soon need to be thinking of fall activities. We people of all ages are affected by this slow but sure journey of the sun. Instead of grumbling about the heat we need to live the moment to its fullest and make memories like seed pods to carry us through life.