By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Sometimes I can get so caught up with items on my calendar, or focusing on the next item on my to-do list that I’ll find myself surprised by obvious things, such as how the shifting seasons change the length of the day.
I mean, I’m not completely oblivious. I do realize the days have slowly been lengthening as we approach the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year.
Yet earlier this week, I nonetheless found myself grinning as I stepped outside around 8:15 p.m. and found the world still lit by rosy rays of light filtered softly through a patchwork blanket of leftover rainclouds.
I love the cool weather and warm, spicy beverages that are typically associated with fall and winter, but, if I’m honest, seeing the sun set before dinner time can be disheartening. By contrast, during the summer, the opposite happens. After a day spent at work, with errands run and dinner made, seeing the golden rays of the lingering summer sunset late in the evening is always a pleasant surprise.
It’s like getting a second wind. If there’s still daylight, then there’s still time to do and enjoy more things.
Maybe it has something to do with the saying about burning daylight. When I see that there’s still more daylight left to “burn” it feels like I have more time for everything, from the things I have to get done to the things I want to do for their own sake.
The longer summer days somehow leave me feeling just a little bit more accomplished. It may be a bit nonsensical, but it’s true. And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way, at least subconsciously. All summer long I see more people out and about enjoying leisure activities, going for walks, tackling DIY projects, or working on their hobbies.
In a place like the Valley, where the weather is temperate pretty much all year ’round (and really, summertime is sometimes too hot), the uptick in activity can’t merely be attributed to the weather. Nor do all of us work in industries where we have more time off during the summer months, so that doesn’t explain it completely, either.
To me, the answer is clear: like me, many people respond to the longer days with more enthusiasm and gusto. We feel energized and motivated to pick up those hobbies or recommit to our exercise regimes, or to visit our local green spaces.
I know that all too soon the summer solstice will come and go, and with it, the lengthening days. But that summertime motivation lasts for a while even after the official longest day of the year. Maybe this summer I’ll finally get back in the saddle and start logging miles on my bicycle again. After all, I’ve kept it in a prominent place at home as a silent reminder to get outside.
So what about you? Do summer’s longer days serve as a motivation for you, and if so, how? Let us know online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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