The longest day

It’s today. The twenty first, Midsummer’s Eve, half-way through. Tomorrow we can all start saying “Aye, the nights are fair drawing in” and the long slow quiet walk towards the dark.

I know. It’s being so cheerful as keeps me going. I don’t know what phase the moon is in right now but it’s doing something odd. It makes me walk, sometimes. When I was 18 or so I’d have a passion to drive on full moon with the lanes and fields bathed in silver and silence. There’s a view I remember, coming over the top of s little hill and the road stretching out towards Bratton and the White Horse in the moonlight that will be with me until I die.

The path through the marshes.
The path through the marshes.

It’s wet this morning on this longest day and a kestrel perched on the phone line outside my window. In Sweden they’ll be having parties tonight. In lots of places they’ll mark the mid-point of the year. For me it’s a quiet, quite a sad day, the day the year starts to die, the day after which it all literally goes downhill. I took a walk along the river yesterday afternoon, about four miles there and back, out along where the tied had ebbed away and the swallows landed on the mud, something you don’t often see them do anywhere at all.

It’ll be hotter in July and August than it is now. There might even be a bright and sunny start to October, the way I remember starting university when I bought a pair of red Kicker boots and a new alpaca sweater and wore them both, together, without blushing. But the year’s getting older now, past its midpoint. So let’s make the most of what we have now. We won’t be here again.


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