Yesterday (June 20) was the summer solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s the excuse I’ll give, if anyone asks, for not writing a new post yesterday. Okay, that’s not true: I had to work all day. Yeah, not the grandest way to spend the first day of summer. At least it was downright sunny and crystal clear here in Madison on Monday. Oh, and warm. Very warm. How do I know this? I spent a little bit of time outside during my lunch break. I’m glad I did for the wonderful weather made that outside time very enjoyable.
I devote that first paragraph to summertime because I’m inspired by not only this writing prompt from F.C. about nature but this one-word prompt from The Daily Post about summer. I’ll put them together here and opine about natural beauty in the summertime.
We’ll start with the beauty of early morning sunrises that can be found only in the summertime. I’m always stunned by how tranquil the world can be when the sun is rising in the sky. Here in Madison, the sun rose at 5:18 on Monday morning, the day of the solstice. The rest of the year, there’s already a bit of a hustle and bustle when the sun is rising. But at 5:18AM, some people are still in bed. Too bad, for they miss out on the serenity of sunrise. I took a walk around my neighborhood this past Sunday right after the sun had risen. Nobody else was taking a walk. Barely any cars were on the road. Nothing to disturb how beautiful this Sunday morning was. Ahhh…
The other side of the coin is the late evening sunsets, and there’s something soothing about that. If you have had a long day at work (as I usually do), there’s beauty in heading out of the office and knowing that there’s plenty of daylight left to do anything you want to do outside. The sun sets at 8:40 in Madison tonight, and with not a cloud in the sky, you can run errands, play in the park, cook out, take in a concert (Madison has a few outdoor concerts in the summertime, for the record), whatever you want to do. Isn’t that extra daylight beautiful?
Of course, early sunrises and late sunsets lead to ample amounts of sunshine during the summer. I am a firm believer that sunshine helps lift a person’s spirits. And when it’s the summer sun… well, it really makes one feel at their best. When I was outside at lunch on Monday, I looked upwards and noticed the sun was straight up above me. Wow! If you took the time to appreciate the sun at its apex on Monday, I imagine it made you feel good as well. I won’t get into the part about the mercury skyrocketing…
But enough about the sunshine for a while. Summer allows for leaves on the trees. Flowers and hedges in the gardens. Birds on the lakes or in birdhouses. Ducks on the flowing rivers. Or whatever else you can find in a park, forest, or resort. There’s nothing like the natural beauty that summertime brings. It’s certainly not a product of the fall and winter months. It’s only in its infancy in the spring (or, thanks to the late winters Wisconsin tends to have, late spring). And it certainly doesn’t come from a synthetic arrangement you find at the crafts store.
Here’s hoping you take the time to experience and appreciate all of the natural beauty summertime has to offer. Take a walk to drink it all in if you have to. Or even take a photo or two — or several — as a keepsake for the colder months (as I did in the photo at the top of this post). Summertime lasts only 3 months; please don’t let it pass you by.