Longest day, shortest night

Share Button

The waters are rushing off into swirls of pools glisten in the noonday sun. It’s like a desert in intensity, yet there’s water everywhere, trapped in its frozen form and rendered into the life of the earth – water. It’s the sign of a late spring and after a long winter, the long days are here – the summer solstice.

The summer solstice has its special place in time, repeating itself once a year. This day is a time to revere, to revel and rebel, to relax and retire, to relate and retake summer once and for all. If anything is special to everyone, it’s the summer solstice, which returns six months later Down Under, where shrimp are barbequed and the kangaroo roam, or rather, hop about.

Before the Dark Ages, back when clocks were set according to the alignments in the heavens, summer solstice was either a time to work the fields and harvest, or to relax and wait for winter to wrap up and summer activities to begin. For many, celebrations were in order. For some, even human sacrifice. But for many, it was a time to get together and enjoy summer.

Yes, summer solstice is officially recognized as a day to get into summer and feel good about the approaching heat waves while wishing you worked as a schoolteacher, so you could have the summer off. For our people, it’s all about the summer – having fun, powwows and festivities, music and prayer, dance and seeing friends who disappear during the long winter months, and reflect about the hunting seasons. It’s also about going to town for many revelers.

Midnight in the North is an unbelievable light show. The darkest is a light dark blue, like a late sunset or early sunrise, it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. Stars glimmer for an hour and only the brightest ones outshine the sun’s shadow.

For all First Nations and Inuit of the North, it’s a time for harvesting. It’s the best time to set your nets and check them every three hours. Attracted to the sun’s reflection, the fish converge around the light of the bright glow of a shore fire – netting for trout and whitefish can be bountiful at this time.

For the romantic type, the night is day all night long. Watching the sun rise after a few moments of darkness makes you want to hurry things up, because who want broad daylight to ruin the might-have-beens’ chances of scoring, if you know what I mean. So, it does have a little disadvantage in that area, but still, it’s a summer night. If a full is involved, all the better.

For me, it’s about fishing, or did I mention that already?


Share Button

Comments are closed.