The longest day

Grib skovNow is the time our planet’s Northern hemisphere tilts towards the sun, days grow longer and warmer, and at high enough latitudes the sun never sets.

Once I spent the longest day of the year in Helsinki. I was there for a PhD thesis defense. I was the outside examiner, or as it was explained to me, the Opponent. As the Opponent, I dressed up and, as is traditional, wore a black suit with tails for the public defense. Immediately following the successful defense, again following tradition, the candidate threw a party for the Opponent, me, at a bar. The party went on until late hours, featuring, memorably and fittingly ending the party, a wrestling match on the floor of the bar with the candidate and the candidate’s doctoral supervisor. As the party ended, I stepped out of the noisy dark windowless bar in my formal black suit with tails, tired with my head whirling from the long day, my jet lag, the physics back-and-forth of the defense, and the late hour, into the bright Finnish sunlight. I felt like I had walked into a new world.

After a long winter in Montréal, we are all stepping cautiously into the bright sunshine of a new season. My next-door neighbor, not quite believing the winter was ending or not wanting to jinx the process, told my wife and me that he was putting on his car’s spring tires, rather than summer tires. This cold dark miserable Québec winter, like a perfectly formed pun, brought some gloomy and divisive ideas to our public discourse — thoroughly opposed, they are behind us for now at least, as we walk optimistically into the bright sunshine of the year’s longest day.

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.