So today is the longest day of the year, a day that I’ve always wanted to celebrate–because it means no snow for a few months–but that I always end up feeling sad about–because it’s all downhill from the longest day of the year.
But I’ve been going to the Gallivan Center at lunch for a couple of weeks now, and while that doesn’t make me more reconciled to the inevitable shortening of days again, the Mark Strand poem carved above the stream-fountain thing there does.
Visions of the end may secretly seduce
our thoughts like water sinking
into water, air drifting into air;
clouds may form, when least expected,
darkening the glass of self,
canceling resemblances to what we are.
Even here, while summer sunlight
falling through the golden
folds of afternoon
brightens up the air, we mark
our progress by how much
we leave behind. And yet,
this vanishing is burnished
by a slow, melodious light,
as if our passage here
were beautiful because
no turning back is possible.
It is our knowledge of the end
that speaks for us, that has us weave,
as slowly as we can, an elegy
to all our walks. It is our way
of bending to the world’s will
and giving thanks.
“..as if our passage here were beautiful because no turning back is possible.” Yes, that makes me feel better about the Solstice. (I bet it makes the construction crew cleaning out the stream-fountain thing and the homeless guy watching them feel better, too.)