Today, in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Summer Solstice, the first day of Summer, and the longest day of the year, in terms of hours of daylight. Here in Pennsylvania, we will see about 14 hours and 31 minutes worth of daylight. Depending on where you live in the vast state of Alaska, you will experience daylight for as little as 18 or as much as 24 hours.
The summer has finally arrived, and although I could probably list 600 reasons why today is a day of celebration, I have narrowed it down to six scintillating reasons to celebrate Super Summer Solstice Saturday. (Say that three times after a few cold summer beverages)
1. Light, light, and more light-I am very serious here. The lack of light has become a runner's worst enemy. Early this week, in the middle of the day, a young man passed me in his car, in full texting mode. There is no possible way he could have reacted quickly, as he wasn't paying attention to the road. Yesterday morning, a local woman was struck and killed by a pick up truck on her early morning run. Take advantage of the additional light the summer months offer. And when the days get shorter, invest on very bright, reflective workout clothing. There are more cars, more drivers, more distractions, and more runners out there. I wish the Summer Solstice would last all year.
2. Beaches-No matter where you live, there's something about summer and beaches. The water, the waves, the sand, the smell, the sounds. Perhaps you're not a beach-lover, but still, there's something about the beach that makes summer very special.
3. Baseball-When I'm finished writing this I'm going out for a run. A few household chores will follow, then the Phillies will play an afternoon game in Saint Louis. For a runner, there's nothing like turning on that baseball game and settling in for an afternoon nap!
4. The grill-In my opinion, there's no reason to ever cook inside during the summer months. Anything is fair game for the grill. Whether you're a voracious carnivore or a vegan, the grill and summer simply belong together.
5. Sounds-Birds chirping in the early morning hours, the sound of lawn mowers, the ping of aluminum baseball bats, jet skis, the soothing sound of the ocean, gentle breezes, thunderstorms, Jimmy Buffett music. Ahh...the sounds of summer.
6. Sunsets-My wife and I have our Summer Solstice sunset planned. After grilling, of course, we will retire to the front porch, with Yuengling Chesterfield Ales in hand, and watch the sun set over the Broad Mountain, fifteen miles to out north.
The summer has begun.