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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday 6-23-23 – The Zenith of 2023

We made the mid-point of 2023. We rolled though it, at least in respect to our revolution around the sun on Wednesday at 10:57 AM EST. It was our day of maximum daylight in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice. Weather wise, where I live it has been a dry and cool early summer, with record breaking particulate matter in the air from fires to our north. It has felt like a bit of an odd extended Spring, but without the rain. Some of the natural rhythms of the earth seem in flux. While change is the one constant in life, I hope these changes do not lead to outcomes that leave the future markedly different than what we are accustomed to, but that is a topic beyond the scope of this post.

There is something fleeting about summer. In my youth, these were the days I can recall with the most detail. Lazy summer days that would seemingly stretch on forever. In hindsight the era went by in a flash. Memories for me that can flood back when I smell wet concrete after a summer thunderstorm. I thought I would dig through some quotes to get a feel for how writers have captured these summer moments. One of the things I am grateful for is their thoughts are easy to access. We have a treasure trove of human experience and insight, captured in written words right at our fingertips, a marvel of our age. It seems others before me have has such sentiments:

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ― John Lubbock

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck

O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate. This last resort was ours, too, and I knew it now. In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”

Albert Camus

My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.” ― George R.R. Martin

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” ― Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot

Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ― Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” ― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That's why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” ― Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...It has no day.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.” ― Nora Ephron

Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

High summer reminds us of the impermanence of all things as well as the timelessness of such moments. I am grateful for the ones I have had and hope to have more. This Gratitude Friday brought it home for me how such themes resonate through our history. I am grateful for this moment and the opportunity to reflect on how writers have reflected on it.

What are you grateful for today?

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