Just now at this moment the sun is aligned at its most northern point making our longest day of the year. I keep the sun to my back, protecting myself from its direct gaze. I glance over my shoulder now and again, just for a second. There are wispy wing-like clouds below the sun as if to launch it on what seems to be its journey back south. But of course it is us who move. We are at our summer destination, the point closest to our own star. From this moment we begin our return trip, backing away from long days and dwindling nights. I need to take this moment in fully in order to hold it through the winter with its brief days and extended nights. I will remember the heat on the back of my neck reaching over my shoulders to fall on the backs of my hands as I write. And I will remember each seed head warmed to bursting and the clarity of all the green fields surrounding me, the river trees in the background and distant hills rolling to mountains; everything clear and present. So just for a moment, I turn fully toward the sun with my eyes closed and feel it hitting my nose first, then my eyelids, and down my cheeks to my chest, my bent knees warmer than my shins, my toes warmer than my heels. I will remember this.
A full strawberry moon rose over the hill outside my backdoor around 9 o’clock last night. It hovered on the horizon luminous and poised like the bouncing ball we used to follow through a song in elementary school. I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon, full moon coinciding with summer solstice, when it last happened. It was 1967, the summer of love. I wasn’t aware of the summer of love either for that matter. But that summer and all of its radical love would affect who I was to become, even as the love began to fade. And now this phenomenon has come again, not be repeated in my lifetime. This strawberry moon will have to carry me.