Notes on the First Day of Summer

The morning didn’t start auspiciously. Another driver, distracted by a brilliantly beautiful person running down Dolores, turned in front of me with neither look nor signal. I swerved to avoid him but nearly took out a streetsign to do it. When I’m behind the wheel, my spouse calls me Mario (after racing legend Mario Andretti) for a reason.

Disaster averted, I took my canine pal, DeeDee, to Fort Funston, built in the late 1930s as an artillery battery to protect San Francisco Bay from Japanese invasion, now a dog park and hang glider takeoff spot. It’s one of the few safe places the city’s dog owners can let their dogs run offleash and free, and a wonderful place to enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. [Great ocean views were once critical, I understand, for artillery batteries.]

Not a cloud in the sky, the sun was warm, the breeze off the Pacific refreshing. A glorious first day of summer, the so-called longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

We, my spouse and I, once visited the Orkneys, islands north of Scotland, during the summer. Even after midnight, it never got truly dark. As I waxed poetic about the islands’ stunning beauty, a native reminded me that, 6 months from then, in the dead of winter, it would never be truly light; the sun doesn’t really rise, the place stays in perpetual twilight.

Yeah, thanks anyway. I believe I’ll just stay right where I am, closer to the Equator.

%d bloggers like this: