Friday, June 10, 2016

It's Summer!!! (...Or Is It?)

Summer is here!

The sun is up! The temperatures are rising! The kids are finished with school! The splash-pads are getting crowded! People are walking around without shirts! (Although, some of those people really should be wearing shirts.)

It's time for barbecues and picnics and trips to the beach! It's time for baseball games and running through the sprinklers and fireworks!

It's summertime!!!

Head for the beach! It's summer! (Maybe.)

But, wait. What's that? You say it's not actually summer yet? You say it won't really be summer for another ten days? You say your calendar says the first official day of summer isn't until June 20th?

Well, you're wrong. I may not be the "official" decider of when summer starts, but, to paraphrase some old Supreme Court justice, I know it when I see it. Summer starts on either Memorial Day weekend or the last day of school. That's a fact. You know it, I know it, and we all know it, no matter what the tilting of the earth's axis might say.

Tilting of the earth's axis? What does that have to do with anything? Well, according to Wikipedia, the summer solstice or first day of summer occurs when the tilt of the planet's semi-axis is most inclined towards the star that it orbits. It is the point of the earth's maximum axial tilt towards the sun. And, for centuries, it has marked the first day of summer. (Ah, gotta love Wikipedia! Wikipedia's motto: Providing Semi-Accurate Information for Student Reports for More Than a Decade! [citation needed])

So, yes, the summer solstice has been marking the beginning of summer for thousands of years. So what? Do you know what I say? I say, "Solstice, schmolstice!!!" This is America! We don't have to stand for this kind of thing!

Can we change the official beginning of summer? Well, no. But what we can do is ignore it. We can not pay attention to the facts of the situation and just believe what we feel like believing. It's how we convince ourselves that it's okay if we super-size our Extra Value Meal as long as we have a Diet Coke instead of a regular Coke.

So, you can pay attention to the Solstice People or the Calendar People if you feel like it. But, as for me, I'm going to say that summer begins on Memorial Day weekend.

The first day of summer is when you believe it is.

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