Attitude key to our perception of solstice

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2002

This is the time of year that tests Alaskans' mettle; the time of year when Alaskans know without a doubt whether they view that proverbial glass as half full or half empty.

With all due apologies to columnist A. E. Poynor, it is time to answer the ultimate question on the SAT, better known to Peninsula Clarion readers as the Standardized Alaskan Test.

The question: What does summer solstice, which was Friday, really mean?

A. Summer is finally here.

B. Winter is right around the corner.

The "right" answer, of course, depends on your point of view.

If you believe summer just arrived Friday, however, we have some great fishing gear, perfect for Kenai River kings, we'd like to sell you. We also suspect you were one of those folks celebrating solstice by taking in the "fun run" in the midnight sun in Kenai Friday night. Or, maybe, you headed to Moose Pass for that community's 24th annual summer solstice festival. (It's still not too late for all the fun; the festival continues today.)

If you answered "B," we're betting we could have found you either crying in your beer Friday night or chopping wood like crazy to build up your winter supply. After all, the hours of daylight already have started to decrease; there's not a moment to waste. Soon, you'll be putting the studded tires on and shoveling snow and planning your very own winter solstice festival to celebrate the lengthening daylight moments.

By the way, is that fireweed starting to bloom already?

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