The orange sky

I’m on the hillside. I’m listening to America’s “Sister Golden Hair.” I’m staring to the west at the descending sun still hovering over Antelope Island.

The only thing different this summer solstice is that I brought my laptop instead of a notebook. But here I am, partaking in my annual writing session at Donner Park at sunset on the longest day of the year. (Here are the links to past years' solstice blog posts: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.)

I’ve been thinking all day what to write about while reflecting upon the last year. I’m kind of at a loss. The last year has been good, but not so profound that I need to write an epic. I’m happy with my life and see even better things ahead. How boring is that? Boring is good. The boys are growing and are more fun than ever. Lori and I are coming up on our 15th wedding anniversary. Our family grew by one mammal – Popcorn, our dog, has brought much joy to our house. I’m writing more than ever and see even more words over the next 12 months (especially with both boys in school all day). 

And summer has been great so far, but so hot, to the point it feels like we’ve been summering for two months rather than a few weeks. That’s not a bad thing; it means there’s a lot of summer left to go. 

The western sky has gotten a little more orange as the sun gets closer to setting. I write about summer and summers of my childhood, but today I realized something: The summers of my adulthood have been excellent as well. 

I tried ranking my favorite summers of the 1980s, ages 9-18, and came up with a predictable order. Then, for the heck of it, I tried it for the 1990s. The good ones were obvious (1993, when Lori and just started dating and falling in love; 1997, when we got married), but I wasn’t coming up with any bad ones. Or even any boring ones. In the ‘80s, though no summer outright sucked, there were a few that weren’t as memorable as the good ones. Granted, I don’t have as many specific memories from the ‘90s’ summers, and the songs might not stand out as they did a decade earlier, but my favorite season still ruled through my 20s.

I can only assume then that the last 12 summers have rocked as well. These summers since we moved to Utah have been such a blur that maybe I don’t take time enough to appreciate them (and there’s at least one clunker of a summer among them). I like to think I do, but they go so quickly now. I remember taking Michael to his first Salt Lake Bees baseball game, then realize it was four years ago already. Blogging summer has been worthwhile, if not just for this reason: I’m forced to appreciate every day. 

The sun has set, dipping below the mountains, then, obscured from my view, taking a few minutes to sink below the horizon. The wind has picked up a little on perhaps the only cooler day (70s) we’ll have this week. “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins just began on the iPod. Time to go home.

I got home and started linking past solstice posts and read last year's. I discovered that my reflection of the year past and what I was hoping for ahead was awfully similar. That means life has remained good, but it also suggests a little stagnation, at least on the writing front. I felt like I was verge of something next year but never took the next step. Reading that post was a little sobering. I can't wait forever to take the next step I so desperately want to take. This might be the most reflective solstice yet.


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