Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All Summer in a Day

Sunset, Wheatfield Near Arles
Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

One of my favourite short stories by Ray Bradbury is "All Summer in a Day". It is the story about a little girl named Margot, who has recently moved to the planet Venus, where the sun is only visible for two hours, every seven years. She is the only one in her class to remember sunshine, and the other children don't believe her when she describes the sun as a "penny" or like a "fire in a stove". The other children call her a liar and lock her in a closet, just before the sun is due to come out. As the sun appears, the children all go outside to frolic in the sunshine, and they forget that Margot is locked in the closet. As the rain starts again, they remember Margot and run back inside to free Margot from her prison, and they are ashamed of what they had done.

The Wheat Field, Sunrise
Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Living where I do, I sometimes feel like Margot.  We have so much rain, clouds, mist, dampness, gloominess, I almost forget what the sun looks and feels like.  Until today, when it is shining in all its golden glory.  I, however, am locked inside an office, and my only access to the sunshine -- one little window off in the distance -- has been blocked by closed Venetian blinds.  Venus, Venetian -- how appropriate?  Today is the longest day of the year -- the summer solstice -- the point where the sun reaches the farthest distance from the equator.  For a moment, the sun will appear to stop.  And then it will begin to move south again.

For me, it will be all summer in a day...  Let me out of this closet...!


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I can't help you get out of your closet, but I can tell you that the word solstice means literally 'sun stands [still]'.

DJan said...

I remember that Bradbury story. I am so sorry you are locked inside while we are enjoying the sunshine. It's likely to still be there when you are released, Jo. I'm hoping so, anyway. :-)

Cloudia said...

Be free, truth teller!

Wishing you sunshine and Aloha from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
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Meryl Baer said...

I remember that story well. Forgot Bradbury wrote it. The sun will shine.

Leslie: said...

I remember that story, too. Unfortunately, today I had to go and buy spray for my roses as the wet weather has given them a mould and fungus. HOpefully, the spray will help, but then a bit of sunlight would also.

Jennifer D said...

I have never heard of that story but I am currently reading "Dandelion Wine" by Bradbury and it may be one of my favorite books. It is a wonderful summery sunny warm treat of a story.
I hope you can enjoy the sun this weekend and soak up some sun.

Paula Slade said...

You still have today to celebrate in the sunshine! I hope the weather is cooperating for you Jo.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love Ray Bradbury, and that's a wonderful story.

We're having your leftover weather in SF now, so thanks for sharing. I hope they let you out of your closet soon.

muthu said...

hmhmhm ... have you ever wondered that things that are desired most are those just out of reach. Like your sunshine perhaps!!

Hope the strands of light creep through the blinds into your binds...