Six months ago I was a sullen soul standing in a swirling, biting, bitter wind. The coats had long been pulled from the attic and were now cluttering our closets. The summer sun a distant memory, my skin already ash. It was December. The winter solstice. Three months to go until spring. Probably a couple more until it was safe to wear shorts. And yet somehow, I smiled. I knew that the darkest days were behind us, and that tomorrow the earth would begin to tilt on its axis so that the Northern Hemisphere would receive a few seconds more sunlight. It was a good day.

Winter was hard. It always is. Even when it’s not.

Today is the first day of summer. My favorite season. Water. Warmth. Fragrant breezes and happy memories of long days playing outside until fireflies filled the sky. And yet, summer arrives with a hint of melancholy. Like always. Today marks the longest day of the year. Beginning tomorrow the earth will once again tilt on its axis, and the days will slowly start to shrink – until we arrive once more in December. And I can smile again.

The first day of summer always makes me wonder whether I can truly be happy. Everything in flux. Everything in motion. Never a moment to stand up straight with the sun directly overhead.

Except for today.


Jim Mitchem

The Waiting Room

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.