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Summer Solstice

I know that this is a classic symptom of getting old. But, honestly, where the heck did the first half of the year disappear to?! I cannot believe that we have already reached the longest day of the year.

I hesitate to say this, for this is supposed to be a cheerful and optimistic blog, but the summer solstice always makes me a little sad. Rather than relishing the long, lingering evening, I can’t help but think that it’s downhill from here, darkening daily towards the depths of winter. That time is flying. So little done, so much to do. Time’s wing’d chariot hurrying near.

But enough of that, Humphreys! Cheer up!

The summer solstice is as good a time as any to set yourself a midsummer resolution. Why wait for New Year? Tomorrow will be a little bit darker, you’ll be a little bit older (cheer up, I said!). If you’re tempted to try something big and bold in your life, now surely is the time to commit to action.

Yes, it bothers me that so many of my big plans for the first half of the year remain unfinished. But I must also make an effort to enjoy these long evenings and light mornings. To think about the small things in life, not just the Grand Plans. To unshackle myself from the computer and go outside. To read books and eat meals outside. And, instead of gobbling down my food and dashing back to work (or -worse still- continuing to work whilst I eat), I ought to pause. Returning from the white world of the Arctic a couple of weeks ago, I was enchanted by how green and beautiful England is in the summer. The swifts are back now, back from their colossal journey of thousands of miles from Africa, to scythe acrobatically across our skies. (Did you know, by the way, that swifts feed, drink, mate and sleep on the wing? That’s a pretty impressive sight to be able to enjoy in your little back garden in boring old Britain…)

I’m going to force myself to savour it all by setting myself a tiny little challenge. Thinking small can be as important as thinking big, for it is far less daunting to take that critical first step that breaks inertia and builds momentum. So I am going to take a photo a day, for the next week, of something that makes me savour the season. Why don’t you do the same?

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