This probably isn’t the exact day where the sun is going to shine through Stonehenge but it sure seemed like it. Just like Christmas Season, we have Solstice Season in Alaska, full of street fairs, people taking part in contests of physical mastery and of course beer gardens.
4th Avenue , that sexy street of souvenirs, was lined with tents full of “artists.” I wonder where they all came from since the Saturday Market was still going strong a block away. I saw them setting up but had other engagements which probably saved me lots of money. I feel horrible going to a booth and not buying. People have so much hope of making a sale that it hurts me to leave them hanging. I keep a distance of about 10 feet, (for which I now have to wear my glasses to see the overarching theme of the display) and I practice a slow glide. No sudden stops. I can’t get near the massage folks without them dragging me in. I’m the poster person for muscular tension. Sometimes I pretend I don’t speak English but this doesn’t work too well when they don’t speak English either.
I biked over to see a bit of The Mayor’s Marathon. Many fit people, it looked like an internet dating site but most of the people there were thinking of going to the bathroom, not dating. Part of me wished I could run a marathon, without the training of course. My roommates went on a full day mountain biking extravaganza, getting up before me on a weekend which is unheard of. They are now both asleep from exhaustion which is how all good Alaskans should end a Solstice day.
I on the other hand am more of the New England/Irish solstice type. I was volunteering at a little bookstore and spent most of my time meditating on the beauty of the empty parking lot, almost empty, as there were two patrol cars waiting for some type of stake out. Tons of dragon flies, who looked like cops in their bright blue hats and tails, surrounded me. Several of these elegant bug/birds were engaged in activities not particularly appropriate for public places especially as they were in uniform. Ah, but those rules are thrown away on the solstice.
Pollen floated across the asphalt and swallows darted about as if they were decorating for a ball. Fish creek runs just behind a grove of birch between the bookstore and The House of Harley. Needless to say, you can’t hear the water. I could hear the gentle murmur of float planes from Lake Hood and even saw an Eagle circling about a half mile away. I wound up biking home on the Fish Creek trail which went through some of the more interesting Turnagain neighborhoods. Lots of folks out, some still finishing the marathon, some, Gumby in particular, trying to get them to finish the marathon by pointing them in the right direction. It was eight hours since the start. The folks didn’t look too bad but seemed to be an older bunch, maybe a little cranky and disoriented. Running too fast or too long can do that to you no matter what your age.
I like to stay up late on the solstice, which again I admit is not technically today. It’s supposed to rain for a few days so we probably won’t even notice the actual solstice. Sure the solstice will happen without the sun coming out or the street fairs and the marathon will be run but the spirit of the solstice must be created not just scientifically determined. Today I wore my red lace square dancing bloomers under my skirt. That was my solstice activity. I even showed them off to a chosen few. I rode my bike everywhere and I ate tuna which is my traditional summer sandwich. I may even have some ice creamish stuff after I finish writing. Many people like to go out of town and camp for the solstice but I find nature quite amusing wherever I am. Not that I am against a hike, do invite me, but I find that I tend to get lost in my scheduled activities so often that when I slow down to notice my surroundings I discover I was in wonderland all along. That’s what the solstice is for.