The Saddest Day of the Year

by Michael Walsh

That would be today, the summer solstice here in the benighted northeast. Yes, I know you pasty natives celebrate by putting on plaid pants and heading for the golf course, but for those of us who grew up in more civilized parts of the country closer to the equator (southern California, Hawaii), there’s something incredibly depressing about this day, and it’s this:

From this afternoon onward to nearly Christmas, the days grow shorter. Visibly, viscerally shorter. 

That’s true everywhere in the northern hemisphere, of course; it’s just that up here in New England the swing is more pronounced and the weather is commensurately worse. We move smartly from bleak winter to mud season to mosquito season to the two weeks of leaf-peeping that help us sell our houses to the next generation of suckers, and then back again. Things are even worse in Europe (ask someone from Finland how the young Finns celebrate today, before heading off into their darkness-induced funk), but that’s their problem.

And it’s not like we make it up on the back end. We’ve already been jobbed out of two months of potentially good weather, with April and May total washouts. Now June’s almost had it, which leaves only July and August — and you know how pleasant they can be! — before we all start singing that September Song. The fun hasn’t even begun and it’s already over.

Bah, humbug. I think I’ll start my Christmas shopping…