Happy Summer Solstice, which occurs in just a little over two hours in my time zone, at 6:09 p.m.
I do wish I had someone to build a fire with and honor this turning of the wheel at the solstice long into the night. Unfortunately, celebrating this occasion, observed since ancient times by all civilizations, including the Celts, will be at the bottom of the list for Bismarck residents to do tonight. They might fire up their fire pit, but that will be the extent of it.
Aware of the solstice or not, I hope they enjoy this nice evening by playing softball, boating on the river, letting the kids stay up late, barbecuing, mowing their lawns, puttering in their flower beds, talking a walk around the golf course, running the dogs.
I'll be sitting out on my deck, as I do most fine nights. The other evening I read until almost 10:00 p.m. (Eudora Welty's "The Optimist's Daughter." I recommend it). And after our long twilight finally fades, I will sit back under our giant, sheltering elm, take a sip of wine, and think about how lucky I am to experience North Dakota's long summer eves, and about the celebrations people all over the world - people who did not forget that this is the longest day of the year - will be holding on this special evening.
And tomorrow, do make it a point to savor the first full day of summer and to squeeze every single moment out of this sweet season.