Today is the solstice, the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. It is my favorite day of the year, and I generally throw a party to properly welcome Summer, my favorite season. Summer is a stolen time in Montana. Though it is June 21, snow still blankets Glacier’s peaks, which look like painted Blackfeet ponies losing their coats. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is not yet open. I’ve yet to make my annual pilgrimage to Iceberg Lake. Though the trail to Iceberg sometimes exhausts me, clogged with throngs of tourons, I cannot resist the chance to meet ghosts of myself, from nine to twenty-nine, on the journey. There is a little spring where I wash my face each year, an annual baptism in Glacier’s pristine waters.
Light shines on Hillhouse till nearly 11pm, extending the hours of work and of play in way that soothes my soul, that I call to mind on cold January evenings when I feel I might never be warm again.
But the solstice is also the worst day of the year. Every day from now until December 21 will be a little bit shorter, and the embrace I give to Summer is a bit tainted, like kissing a philandering lover, who knows that you know that he is unfaithful to you, despite your commitment, dedication, and love. Who doesn’t care.
I love it anyway, for better for worse. This picture was taken around 1opm, at Hillhouse, last week. These next eight weeks are the best time of year around here, in my opinion, and I intend to squeeze every drop of sunlight from the sky, into my skin, into my soul. Happy Solstice, y’all.
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