The Longest Day of the Year

“Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."     ~The Great Gatsby

The above lines, spoken by Daisy Buchanan in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, describe a particular orientation to the watched for – in this case the longest day of the year – and the impact of that orientation on the experience of the thing. 

The summer solstice – the moment when the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky and creates the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day of the year– is also about orientation and its impact on experience.

When I walk our two dogs, I am – understandably if you know our two dogs – on the lookout for potentially problematic situations which are varied and abundant. I am also usually optimizing for efficiency, proceeding with an attitude of how to get this walk done as quickly and as cleanly as possible. Amidst the super intense sniffing for the perfect spot to lift a leg, or investigate what other creatures have walked this path, or whatever it is that our dog Boomer is doing, I often meet his curious attitude with impatience and leash yanks, “Come ON!” For whatever reason, the other day I was eyes-open for something else –or maybe just wasn’t prioritizing efficiency – and Boomer’s demands to stay nosing about in a side-of-the-road grass patch yielded a plucked couple of strands of clover (maybe dog peed on maybe not? No matter….). Walking back up my driveway, clover in hand along with leashes and poop bags, I noticed a peony bud next to the bloom that had been flattened by one of the many construction vehicles that line my driveway from 7-3 most weekdays.

The summer solstice, this year, reminds me of the deep impact of what we go about our business on the lookout for; what we forage and cull from our environments, thoughts, and conversations has a lot to do with what they contribute to the layers of experience that make up a day, a relationship, a life.

Xoxo Jill    

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