At 5:16 p.m. today (UTC), the sun will, at least metaphorically, stand still. It happens twice each year, in June and December. A solstice occurs when the sun reaches its northernmost or southernmost extremes, and today’s the day. The sun is moving neither north nor south on the planet, just taking a brief pause before starting in the other direction.

Which means, if you want to focus on the negative aspects, that after today’s longest day of the year, tomorrow the daylight will be getting shorter and shorter until December, and the shortest day, when the sun then turns back north.

I personally choose to focus on the today, and the twilight of the evening, when the naked movements around the campfire celebrate the arrival of the summer season,—fluid bodies relishing in the dance.

Did someone say naked?

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.”

Bonus points if you know which of Shakespeare’s plays that quote comes from. And while you’re looking it up, I’m going to go out to start my celebratory solstice campfire…

Happy summer, everyone!