Saturday, June 21, 2014

As The Day is Long

It's summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Summer Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge

Summer solstice marks the longest period of daylight in the year. The sun is at its farthest point north of the Equator.
This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath…
Margaret Atwood, Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995
The word solstice comes from the Latin from sol meaning sun, and stare, or sistere, meaning to stand or stop.

Yin & Yang

The solstice is an astronomical occasion, but also has historical, mythological, and cultural significance.

From Chinese legend today is a celebration of yin, earth, and femininity. Today is winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Winter solstice corresponds to a winter celebration of yang.

Happiness & Daylight

Psychologists have found a correlation between daylight and a measure of happiness.
We identified individual-level diurnal and seasonal mood rhythms in cultures across the globe, using data from millions of public Twitter messages. We found that individuals awaken in a good mood that deteriorates as the day progresses—which is consistent with the effects of sleep and circadian rhythm—and that seasonal change in baseline positive affect varies with change in daylength.
― Golder & Macy, Science
Summer solstice in an opportunity to experience the fullness of the day.
“We all shine the moon and the stars and the sun.”
John Lennon