2008 June 16 Monday thru June 20 Friday.

The Summer Solstice is here and now, once again, just like it is every year at this time.

Why is this important?

That depends upon your occupation, but for farmers and other folks who live close to the natural world, this is the apex of the sun's ascent into the northern hemisphere.

We all know that the word "summer" means 夏, but what does the word "Solstice" really mean?

SOL means SUN, from the ancient Latin Language, and STICE means STOP.

In other words, the SUN STOPS its climb up to its highest point in the sky, appears to stay there for about 3 days, and then begins to gradually get lower in the sky at HIGH NOON 正午, every day of the year until about December 22 when the Winter Solstice occurs.

This is ancient knowledge and is just so much common sense, that it seems as if it is not worth mentioning at all.

Except for the fact that when I talk to a lot of high school and even college kids and mention the words 夏至 or 冬至 , about 50% of the students have no idea of what I am talking about.

YIKES!!! Think about that for a moment.

We all live through it every year, and everybody notices that the days get longer and the nights get shorter, as we approach the Summer Solstice.

And likewise, after about 3 days we all notice that the days get shorter, and the nights get longer, as we cycle on over to the Autumn Equinox and back on into the Winter Solstice.

How could any living entity be it PLANT or ANIMAL or PLASMA, fail to notice this???? The answer is that EVERYTHING notices this, but only about 50% of the young people today, know how to describe it, or what it is called in modern language.

That is one reason why I am sure to bring this subject up in all of my classes, when they happen during these important times of the yearly cycle.

By the way, when Ikuko and I went out for an evening walk on Wednesday, we were greeted by a full view of a FULL MOON rising above the TAISETSU ARENA, and still low in the SouthEastern Sky which made it appear to be RED.

The CHERRY MOON. Full and beautiful.

What a trip, and I only had to step outside from the back door of my abode to enjoy it all.

We enjoyed walking by the light of the moon for about one hour in the warm evening air.

A full cherry moon near the summer solstice.

A memory that will last forever.