This word means twilight, which is always my focus around the summer solstice. The twilight is the prolonged part of the day, it seems to me, not the morning or afternoon—it’s as if the extra daylight is tacked on from 5 pm on. This is such a lovely time: the blue sky deepens, lavenders and finally dims but so, so slowly. Last night I celebrated the actual solstice with an epic walk home, starting at the World Trade Center and walking through the Hudson River Park all the way to 97th Street. Two and a half hours, maybe five miles (nope just looked it up, 6.7 miles), with so many people doing so many things around me: jogging, doing yoga in bikinis, men boxing (a fight club?), couples smooching, kids acting crazy in a fountain, aggressive bike riding , all of it while the sun sank on the other side of the river.
I am remembering now a summer solstice long ago, back when I was a teenaged babysitter for a family whose name I am forgetting: the Smalls? They were wild cards, as employers, sometimes not coming home at all and always forgetting to have snacks or even dinner on hand. I remember sleeping on the couch, waking at dawn, still babysitting, and feeling equal parts thrilled and forlorn. Anyway, it was the summer solstice and Mr. Small, if that was his name, told me that every day after this one would be shorter. Obvious, maybe, but that made me feel forlorn as well.
Regardless, I have a category of blog posts called Holidays We Hate, but the solstice is not one of them.