Ahhh, those lazy, crazy days of summer. They finally arrive today, well this evening to be precise.
Today is the day when the earth’s orbit around the sun combined with its tilt on its own axis puts the sun as far north as it will get. The sun will be directly overhead at noon today at the Tropic of Cancer. That’s right, beginning tomorrow, the days grow shorter.
Somehow we have gotten to the point where we mark the official beginning of summer with Memorial Day. That’s the day on which most public pools open. It’s usually pretty close to graduation day. It’s the first real picnic day of the summer grilling season and Memorial Day is a day of festive parades. Nevertheless, summer arrives today.
But there is another point this year worth mentioning. According to the myth of the Mayan’s, their calendar has been interpreted by some to mean that 2012 is the last year for mankind on earth. Feel like celebrating?
What other consequences might come with the summer solstice this year? Not only will the days begin to grow shorter, but since some believe we might be headed for the cliff, street preachers might finally get some credibility, purveyors of long term food storage supplies might see a boost in sales and churches might see their attendance jump.
If people don’t think there will be anybody here in 2013 there could be other consequences as well. I can just see a bunch of sly foxes sweet-talking young maidens with promises of a wedding next year. Applications for loans might increase among those planning on the end of times to excuse their non-performance. Doomsday preppers might drive up the cost of ammunition with their voracious buying and sales of long term gym memberships could drop off precipitously.
Books on Mayan culture will probably sell better between now and December, telescope sales could pick up and every near miss Asteroid that would usually go unnoticed might start getting the kind of attention that Y2K did a dozen years ago.
Expect people to start reporting a diminished number of invertebrates and amphibians, the demise of which, some theorize, predicts the starting point for the extinction of our species.
I’ve already heard talk about how slowly crops seem to be developing, how shrubbery is wilting and how much algae people have on their lakes and ponds this year. Surely somebody will weave all of this into an argument that we are at the end of our rope.
It started last year with panicked reports of an increase in tornados, the Japanese Tsunami, the big earthquake in Alaska and the break out of “Arab Spring.”
Now we have real sabre-rattling along the border of Egypt and Israel, we have a new alliance building between Russia and China, a presidential election coming up in November and people making plans for commercial space flight and trips to the moon.
With newspapers and TV stations all competing with the New Media for advertising dollars, expect to see sensationalism moving into the mainstream as a “hook” to snare viewers. Nothing is as likely to get people’s attention as convincing them to sit and wait for impending doom.
As for me, summertime evokes memories of playing baseball, riding my bicycle, running all day and playing “hide ‘n seek” under the street light until mom had to yell from the front door to come in. Summer meant no school, bare feet, cool grass, lightning bugs in a jar, fireworks, bratwurst and lemonade.
Yes the days might be growing shorter and the Mayans could be right. But with the official start of summer, whether it’s my last one or not, I plan to do as much of the things I like as time, aging knees and my wallet will allow.
I mean, after all, as Clara sang to her baby in the Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess,” summertime is when the living is easy, the fish are jumping, the cotton is high, your daddy is rich and your momma’s good looking. In other words, make the most of it, wake up singing, spread your wings and fly.
Happy summer everybody.
Now get out there.
Marcus Carey is a Northern Kentucky lawyer with 32 years experience. He is also a farmer, talk radio host and public speaker who loves history and politics. He is a prolific and accomplished writer whose blog, BluegrassBulletin.com, is “dedicated to honest and respectful comment on the political and cultural issues of our time.” He writes a regular commentary for KyForward.