Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Solstice 2016

Here we are at the first full day of summer.  I always think of the summer solstice as arriving June 21, but the dates can vary.  This year, yesterday was the solstice, the longest day of the year.  I celebrated in a variety of ways.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling somewhat grumpy after a night of restlessness.  The mood around the office didn't help me feel much better--lots of talk of the possible loss of ACICS as an accreditor and what the future might hold for my school, which is ACICS accredited.

My younger self would have said, "Oh, good, we can have SACS accreditation."  My older self feels weary at the thought of what that quest will require.  My mood sunk even lower.

But mid-morning, I went to speak at one of our new student orientations, and my mood shifted.  I loved being in a room of enthusiastic, hopeful, new students.  It's not a traditional way to celebrate the solstice, but I'm glad I had it.

Through the afternoon, I took care of the end-of-term paperwork--getting Math students enrolled in the next section, looking up student grades in English classes to make sure that students without pre-reqs didn't move on to the next class.

Again, not a traditional way to celebrate the solstice, this preparing for our summer quarter at school, but it felt good to get these tasks done.

As evening came on the longest day of the year, I celebrated in a more traditional way with wine and time with friends.  I tagged along with my spouse who gives violin lessons to the daughter of friends, and we lingered in the late light to have wine and catch up.

When we came back home, we sat on the porch to continue to enjoy the solstice.  My spouse has a cello on loan, and he experimented with it--the acoustics on our small front porch are amazing/almost overwhelming with both the violin and cello.  It's not dancing around ancient stone monuments or drumming as the full moon rose, but it felt appropriate.

So here we are at summer, a new season.  I have summer online classes starting next week (teaching, not taking), and it will be easy to lose the season.  Let me begin to formulate a plan:

--I will send my proposal to Eerdman's before the end of June.

--I will send out individual poem packets--my goal will be to send out 3 per week.

--I will also start sending out more short story submissions, even though many journals are closed for the summer.

--I will continue with my goal of writing 2 poems a week along with short stories.  I'd like to write one new story a month from July to the end of the year.

--I will eat more melon throughout the summer.

--I will make good use of our swimming pool.

--I will build some fires in the neglected fire pit--and my spouse will smoke some slabs of meat in the smoker.  I will make s'mores and remember why they're not my favorite dessert.

--I will walk to the beach more often.

Hmm.  With the exception of eating more melon and the one-time submission to Eerdman's goal, these are goals I could have year round--and that's fine with me.

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