Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Long Evenings Toward Summer

Today is the longest day of the year,  June 21st.  I had know since elementary school science that the days grew longer and shorter at different times of the year.  I remember hearing about Summer and Winter Solstice and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox (I thought Autumnal was in Iowa?!)

It wasn't until a few years ago that I really truly experienced the long evenings of Spring leading into Summer.  I made a regular habit after work of going fishing at a little conservation area near Platte City.  Each evening I would change out of my work clothes and get dressed in my fishing clothes, grab my tackle and go.  Each evening I would fish until the last light, leaving just enough light to walk through the woods back to my car.

There was something special about those evenings, long, liquid twilight enjoying the cool of the evening and the feeling of being away from the work-a-day world.  I don't remember any of the fish I caught.  I do remember the quality of the evening light, the feel of the evening as it cooled down and the walk back to the car through the woods after a evening of hard fishing.

I can say that I experienced for the first time the lengthening of days and the amber light of those long twilights.  That was more than 7 years ago, yet it still remains with me.  When we discard our clocks and our indoor lights and turn to nature and its rhythms we become richer for it.