June the 20th, solstice, full moon

Today is my birthday. And the solstice and the full moon, the last two of which are fairly rare together and the former not particSun-Moon-Desktop-Wallpapersularly interesting to anybody but myself. I’m weird though. Ever since I learned that the solstice marks the shortening of the days, I have felt a bit sad because we’re on the downward slide to winter. Actually, that isn’t really true. Now that I think about it, that habit started when I was living in Montana and winter started in September, if it didn’t start in August. A favorite saying was: “Nine months winter, three months relatives.” It’s fairly accurate. You weren’t counted a true Montanan until it had snowed on you ever month of the year. I believe that I was missing August, but only because I was traveling during that particular early snow.

Anyhow, the point is, I started thinking of the days growing shorter and isn’t that sad, and it won’t be long until the temperatures fall below zero and I have to shuffle around because the ice makes walking nearly impossible. Only now I live in Oregon and I think I need to make an effort to adjust my thinking. First–not really any ice here. Second–sure, we get some snow some years, but it doesn’t last. Third–it’s green the whole year and I swear there are flowers blooming every month of the year. I really don’t mind rain. Sure, it gets dark and I miss sun, but compared to the icy glare of winter in Montana, I’m good.

So I’m determined to enjoy the day without thinking of the sad part of the cycle and instead thing about how lovely it is and simply enjoy. I think I”ll sit on the back patio with a book and an ice tea and listen to the birds and my Hugin and Munin fountain and enjoy the flowers and dogs and blue sky. And then I’ll eat cake.




About Diana Pharaoh Francis

A recovering academic, Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. She's owned by two corgis, spends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. Check out samples of just about everything on her website: www.dianapfrancis.com


June the 20th, solstice, full moon — 10 Comments

  1. Happy birthday! May it bring you many joyful surprises and creative energy.

    I always welcome this solstice because it means shorter days and in five months less heat. Intermittently. (I don’t like living in Southern California but I’m stuck here.)

    Will be hitting Portland for a few hours on Thursday–looking forward to it.

    • I saw that Palm Springs is going to be 123 today. Wow. I do not envy them. Or you in SoCal for that matter. I’m happy with the eighty of today. What are you doing in Portland? Fun things I hope.

  2. Having grown up outside of Houston and having spent many years in Washington, DC, I have the opposite reaction: the Summer Solstice means that summer has really settled in and there’s not much prospect of any relief for at least three and maybe four months. In fact, given all the places I’ve lived until the last couple of years, I have never understood on a gut level why anyone looked forward to summer (except, of course, for kids happy about no school).

    Of course, here in Oakland, I just greeted the first day of summer by changing clothes. It was pretty warm yesterday and was warm when we got up, so I put on clothes appropriate for Austin in the summer. Then I went outside and decided I needed longer sleeves. And socks.

    PS: Happy Birthday!

    • I can see that. I used to live in the Sacramento valley and while at that age I wasn’t paying any attention to the solstice, I can say that I really dreaded the 105-110 temps of July and August. Thank goodness for having a swimming pool on the ranch. And it was worse in the midwest because of the heat with the humidity. At least here and CA going into the shade means something. Not in the midwest.


      • Heat + humidity is the worst, which is what makes both Houston and DC so miserable. In DC, even rain never cools anything off. I’m fine with dry heat up to the upper 90s, though I prefer to avoid the direct heat of the sun on those days — just feels so relentless.

          • So sorry. Perhaps you can take a few hours and pop over to Oakland, where it will likely be much more pleasant. Or even into San Francisco, where it could even be chilly. (We went into the city last night for a talk and the jacket that was too warm for Oakland when we left and when we got home was not enough for downtown San Francisco with a brisk wind blowing.)

  3. Happy belated birthday, and I look forward to meeting you in person at Westercon! Looks like we’re scheduled to present a Book View Cafe coop publishing panel together. Anyway, growing up here in the Pac NW, almost in Canada, the summer solstice is always a lovely moment to savor those Loooong evenings (not dark until 10:00 or so), and actually the start of summer in normal years. This year we had a heat wave in April/May, and now cold, wet, gloomy days for the solstice. Summer will really start rolling soon. I worry about all you folks in the blazing south!