Summer officially arrived June 21. Short nights, long days begin.

Kinda of hard to wrap my head around the idea that the Summer Solstice marked the beginning of summer. Around here we’ve been experiencing heat indexes in triple digits for weeks. Where we lived in Colorado, twenty-four inches of snow fell over the weekend.

Me thinks Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.

Still summer solstice has been around since the world begin. Ancient cultures recognized the sun’s path across the sky, the changes in the length of daylight, and the location of the sunrise and sunset.

Stonehenge stands as a testament to their knowledge.

Stones are arranged so that the summer solstice sun rises directly above the heel stone. Access inside the stones is granted every year on the two solstice days-winter and summer.

Winter is considered more important than its summer counterpart because Druids believe it marks the ‘re-birth’ of the sun.

Those ancient cultures weren’t wrong in acknowledging the hours of daylight. Scientists have long suspected a link between the level of happiness and the amount of sunlight in the day.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a syndrome characterized by recurrent depressions related to the amount of light at the same time each year. What studies by psychologists have discovered about SAD is it’s not the absolute amount of daylight but the relative change in that daylight.

In other words, the issue is whether a day is longer or shorter than the day that came before?

When daylight hours increase as the summer solstice approaches people expressed significantly higher positive affect than they did when the days move toward the winter solstice.

Therefore, the summer solstice produces a happiness up-slope for half the year whereas the winter solstice does the opposite.

Next year maybe I’ll try this ancient tradition I uncovered while researching the Summer Solstice:

Place a piece of gold jewelry in the sunlight on the Summer Solstice and let it soak in the sun’s power. When you wear the jewelry later, that power will transfer to your own life in the coming year.

Maybe. Seems to me, the heat might be too much on the skin. At least in Texas.