I can’t recall when we started marking the summer solstice with a coastal walk – it was a few years back anyway. It always feels like a day to celebrate, if a bittersweet one to me (as I mentioned in my previous post) as while June 21 is the longest day, it’s also the turning point after which our days creep shorter again. If I had to split the year into seasons by hopefulness, the point between the clocks changing towards the end of March and the solstice is, for me, the hopeful time.
How did we get to the summer solstice already? It’s a bittersweet date: the start of summer and the longest day of the year, but I can never shake the awareness that the days will creep shorter from now on. I know, that’s a bit of a ‘glass half empty’ mentality, right? Which isn’t me! But that’s just the reality of the solstice, although thankfully it’ll be weeks before we can really feel the days shift. So we make the most of these evenings and don’t ever take them for granted, knowing that these long, long days are always too brief.
It’s a cliché to say, these weeks are flying past… but they really are. We’re racing towards the longest day of the year far too quickly for my liking, and as much as I’m looking forwards to the seasonal shift of cooler days, just… not yet. I want to hang on to every minute of daylight that we have. Every single minute.
I started a series of stories on Steller a few weeks back from this walk at Gullane Point, which has become one of our favourite walks in the last year or so, and I thought I’d share some of those photos here too. Aside from driving horizontal rain – as we try to avoid walking anywhere in horizontal rain! – I reckon we’ve experienced this walk in every other type of weather, from the frozen and blustery days when the wind is literally whipping along the clifftop section of the walk, to the wintry days of ice and snow, when you can feel the temperature dip even further as you reach the sheltered beach, to balmy evenings when the sea is completely calm and the sky is glowing gloriously orange.
As I write this on Thursday afternoon, sitting at my desk with this week’s deadlines happily behind me while listening to the wind blustering around outside, I can definitely say that this is where I’d rather be. Yes, even on a stormy day! Always, basically. I realise that my previous post here was also from Yellowcraig, but we had a long weekend off over Easter, and the weather was kind to us. And last Friday’s walk here was beautiful – just so calm, and with this gentle light over the water as afternoon eased into evening. The kind of day we’ve longed for over the winter months.
A strange title for a blog post, you may be thinking, but I really was waiting five long months for last weekend, when the clocks shifted and we moved back into our longer daylight hours. I don’t mind winter – I prefer cold weather and relish those frozen winter walks when there are few people around. Summer can be a challenge. Ironically, I find myself spending more time indoors as it’s often too hot, or too sunny for those of us with sun-sensitive skin. (And yes, I realise I’m in the minority with this thinking!) For me, winter is the time to get outdoors as much as possible, and particularly to counter the effect of the abbreviated days and low light.