Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and the official start of Summer.
If I were in Edinburgh, I would be able to sit outside tonight and read my book. I used to do that often in the Summer--sit on the garden bench outside the kitchen door, read until nearly midnight. I loved that, when it would barely get dark, then by 4:00am the sun would be coming up again. I guess, since I was born in a land with a midnight sun, my affinity for months of daylight makes sense. Course, there's payback for all that light: the endless months of Winter darkness, though that has a certain appeal, too, in its own way.
Here in southern Oregon, it gets dark earlier than I'd like and I find myself missing the uniqueness of living in a different environment. I want to head north, go someplace where my days will seem longer, filled with a kaleidoscope of shades, tones, layers of light; read by the soft illumination of midnight.
I got an email the other day from an acquaintance who felt I needed to have my grammar corrected. Apparently, he was so convinced I was an idiot, he felt compelled to point out my transgression, namely that I capitalize the four seasons.
Now, I have posted about this before, at least a couple of times that I can think of right off the top of my--alleged--dimwitted head. I will clarify my position on this issue one last time.
We capitalize the days of the week, the months of the year. Seasons are a specific event, four clearly defined time periods in the course of a year. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are no less viable than Monday or September, which are also events and time periods in our lives. Someone--no doubt in an office just down the hall from the Eradicate Weeds Department--has decided the seasons aren't worthy of capitalization. We are taught these things, they become rules never to be broken. Others can feel justified and superior in correcting anyone who goes against the status quo.
Au contraire, mes amis.
You are not justified, nor are you in any way superior, and bugger off with your status quo. I will continue to capitalize the seasons regardless of the Grammar Police. I don't care what anyone else does, or says--except when they feel it necessary to correct me. Please don't bother. My perceived grammatical errors and I are doing just fine, thanks.
Now I'm going to enjoy the lazy, placid days of Summer, until I wake up one morning and smell Fall in the air. Then I will anticipate the beauty in the snows of Winter, waiting eagerly for the first signs of Spring.
Here's a cool thing. At least to me. I was watching the Olympic diving trials last night and this message came on to "buy a stitch" to support TeamUSA. I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about, but noted the web site to check out later. This morning I looked it up.
America is one of the few countries where the government doesn't sponsor or financially support the Olympians. They're sponsored by some big name companies, of course, but also by us, the people. The flag that is carried on Opening Night is made just for the 2012 Olympics. To help support TeamUSA in London next month, you can buy a stitch--or however many stitches you want--to help fund the teams. I thought it was a very clever idea.
I love the Olympics and haven't missed watching either the Summer or Winter events in...well, maybe ever. My years in Scotland meant that I got the British version, but who cares? It was the Olympics and I cheered them all. When you think about the sacrifice, pain and effort to actually get to the Games, let alone win, it's really amazing, whether the athlete is from Nigeria or Nepal, Armenia or America.
So I bought two. And believe me. On Opening Night, I'm going to imagine those two stitches on the flag when it's carried into the ceremony. I can't wait.