This time of year is really special I think, and in my mind I always picture Summer Solstice as being the top of a big sunny hill after a slow climb up out of winter and spring. Climbing, climbing until the summit is reached and the long day stretches out as far as it can possibly go. Arriving at the Longest Day of the year seems to me like something worth celebrating.
For some reason, the rest of my family do not share my love of Solstice. Year after year I try my best to rouse some shared excitement for these important days in December and June, and year after year I end up feeling as if I am a total nutcase for caring so much about it.
It's the Longest Day, we must celebrate it, it's special and important don't you know. Blank looks, a little bit of mild eye rolling. Yeah, yeah, if you say so, they say. Well yes, I DO say so, and we WILL make it a special day.
Yesterday, after a day of grey clouds and spitty rain, by early evening it was miraculously glorious. We packed up some food and as soon as J came home from work, we all jumped in the car and headed up to Connievan. I felt sure this would be a great place to spend the end of the longest day, to sit in the glow of the evening and soak up the sun's rays right through till dark.
Re-homing Connievan to this little green corner of the Yorkshire Dales is one of the best decisions we've made in ages and is already providing us with a great deal of family happiness. The Little People no longer complain when I ask them to pack a few essentials for a night away here. In fact, they seem positively happy about going, which makes me very happy indeed.
Yesterday, something wonderful happened. For the first time, both Little People found other Little People to play with. Little Lady was first, confidently introducing herself and Little B to a gang of three girls who were busy doing cartwheels across the grass. Little Man took a while longer to find his confidence, but eventualy he and his scooter struck up a friendship with two boys and their scooters, and I couldn't have been happier. For them of course, cos finding new friends to play with totally made their evening, but also for J and I who suddenly had some unexpected peace and quiet to sit and just reeeeelax with each other.
I adore my Rice melamine tumbers and much prefer them to wine glasses when we are at Connievan. I always have the pink one for my Sauvignon Blanc, but oooo I have my beady eyes on this one now, so pretty!
The evening passed incredibly quickly, and before I knew it, it was almost ten o'clock. The Little People asked if we could go for a walk, they wanted to climb the hill behind the campsite. My heart squeezed a little and I thought what a perfectly perfect activity for Summer Solstice that would be. To climb a grassy hill as the light fades, to appreciate the beauty of the summer landscape on the longest day of the year, well yes, count me right in. I'm coming!
It was truly lovely. Slugs somehow got into LL's crocs and LM took a tumble into a stinging nettle patch, but we'll overlook those little mishaps shall we? It was lovely, really it was.
The moon was rising up behind the hill as we climbed back down, but it was still daylight at 10.30pm. A magical end to a long and beautiful day.
Edit to add :: thanks to Gill for pointing me to this beautifully written article on the BBC website