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The longest day of my life


By Alex Blakley



OK, so this isn’t really about the longest day of my life. I just said that in the title to make things seem more dramatic. Uh, sorry. But wait! I was only half lying, and that means I was half telling the truth.

You see, June 20 was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. At about 7:09 p.m. the sun was shining directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer — ahhhhh cancer! — while the North Pole reached its maximum tilt toward the sun.

What does all this scientific mumbo-jumbo add up to mean?

Well, for us inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere, it means it’s the official first day of summer.

Ah, summer — the greatest of the four seasons. It’s the sweet nudge of warm air breezing through your open window to wake you in the morning. It’s the smell of chlorine, sunscreen and “grassoline” — the alluring aroma of a freshly mown lawn. It’s a wavy mirage floating up and away from a baked asphalt road. It’s a version of freedom. Just think of all the possibilities:

Now, you can go to summer camp for real.

Now, you can stop paying for spray-on tans.

Now, you can feel honest about eating summer sausage.

Now, you can sing that song “Summer Breeze” out loud while you walk down the street (not recommended).

Now, your annoying friends will stop correcting you for mistakenly saying it was summer when it was actually still spring.

Now, your probation is over!

But what is most important about the official beginning of summer is that it gives us a checkpoint. You know back in January when you made those resolutions and really, really meant to follow through with them?

And then school kind of got in the way and you decided once class was over you would have lots more time to get those goals accomplished. Then, classes ended and you decided you would take a week off to celebrate before tackling that project.

Well, it’s been a few weeks now, and if you’re like me, you probably haven’t done everything you were planning on doing this summer. That’s what’s so great about the summer solstice. The summer has just started — anything you wanted to do but, for whatever reason, chose to put off until later can now be done. We’ve been given a blank slate to work with since June 20.

Let’s take advantage of it.

­— aleblakl@indiana.edu

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