We are now in one of the most delightful stretches of the year: The month on each side of the Summer solstice — in the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs at 11:54 am on June 21, the longest day of the year.
What flows from that: the most amount of sunlight each day, the latest sunsets, longest days, etc. In NYC + surrounding areas, it is still fairly light out at 9pm.
I love to take advantage of this time — I will plan some evening events, whether its outdoor dining or sports or just a late night stroll with the dogs. I do notice how dark and dreary the winters can get. I don’t believe I suffer from SAD or any other related issue, but one cannot help but notice that bright and sunny is much more fun that cold and dark.
The phrase “60 Days of Light” first entered my vocabulary a few years ago in St. Petersburg, Russia (I don’t recall the Russian expression, but thats the rough translation). They are so far north they have almost continuous day light during this period, the sun barely sets, and when it does finally dip below the horizon, it is well after midnight. From mid-May (now) until mid-July, the darkest it gets is between sunset and sunrise look like dusk; Even around 2 a.m., the effect of sunset is muted and short-lived.
The flip-side of this is around December, when they have (you guessed it) almost continuous darkness for several months — they barely get more than a couple of hours of daylight each day. For some people, this is really depressing; others turn to alcohol. It seems like a tough place to live in during the winter, and people have to find ways to cope.
Regardless, those of us in the Northern hemisphere get to enjoy even more daylight than usual — the further north you go, the shorter your nights are — and it is a joyous period of year. Take advantage of all this daylight with whatever tickles your fancy — BBQs, swimming, whatever outdoor activities you can squeeze in.
Me? I’m just enjoying the sunshine . . .