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  • Happy Summer Solstice, friends!

    This is a sort of personal holy day for me*. It's the longest day of the year, and my "holiday tradition" is to spend the evening somewhere outside, watching the last bits of light bleed out of the blackening sky, listening to cicadas sing, and feeling the air "cool down" from 100 degrees to 95. Few things are more beautiful than summertime in Texas.

    On this day last year, I rode down to the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin and hiked up to a lookout point that has for a few years been my little refuge in the big city. I arrived at my perch, took a few pictures that could never convey the beauty of the moment, and watched the sun float beneath the horizon in a fiery display of orange and pink.

    Just little me. Watching Earth step from one season into the next. Watching an expansive universe reveal itself over my head. How silly that we so often miss this only because we won't stop and look up. It’s a sort of spiritual opportunity. How incredible must be the Creator who set the whole thing into motion unfathomable eons ago.

    As the last light bled out of the sky, I hiked through the trail in the darkness. By the fourth mile, the quiet little path had given way to city streets. By the eighth mile, I was walking through the front door of our house, telling my sleepy roommates about the awesome adventure.

    This year, I’m spending some time in Guatemala. The sun sets around 7 here, and day lengths don’t vary much since we’re relatively close to the Equator. I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually see the sunset today, or watch color leave the sky. But I do know that I’ll pause and reflect on beautiful changing seasons in a world that doesn’t stay the same — or let us stay the same. I will open my eyes, experience, and appreciate.

    Happy Summer Solstice, friends. Get off the computer, grab a friend (or don't), go outside, and enjoy the summer.


    Photo: Austin, Texas, June 20, 2012.


    * - No pagan religious significance for me
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