A Lesson from the Summer Solstice

Just before noon today (EDT), summer begins. For many people, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, the Summer Solstice is to be celebrated.

I agree! Because I love to be outdoors, I try to absorb every minute of the daylight. I welcome the long, yawning dawns of this day and time of year. I am awed by the transition of dusk from Civil Twilight to Nautical Twilight to Astronomical Twilight.  I am amazed by the atmospheric phenomena that twilight brings — what our dad called “sky-blue pink.”

Yet, there is a lesson for us from the Summer Solstice. Just as today reminds us that from here on out the daylight hours get shorter, I am reminded that we are running out of time to reverse the causes of climate change.

Suqwamish and Duwamish Chief Seattle spoke with great wisdom when he said, “We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

Perhaps each of us could spend at least one hour outdoors today meditating upon this old man’s insight. Let us consider how we can live sustainably — both personally and in our communities — for those from whom we borrow this planet for what is really a quite short time.

© Michael M. Barrrick, 2019.

Photos – Top: Sunset at Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis, W.Va. Bottom: As the sun rises over the Blackwater Canyon, the earliest rays light up the ridges and gorge to the west.


  1. It’s always uplifting to learn of individuals and groups devoting their time and effort on behalf of the planet. The current issue of “Birdlife: THE MAGAZINE,” features “Women Inspiring Change.” The work of seven women in various countries can serve as a model for us all.

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