The longest day of the year is here once again. It has just gone ten and is still light. A pleasantly warm sunny summer day has come to a close. We are in one of England’s prettiest counties. Wiltshire is where Stonehenge is situated. Every year Summer solstice is celebrated here at sunrise on this day, a tradition dating back thousands of years.
At sunrise this morning I was just waking up. It is also International Yoga Day. I don’t do yoga or even pilates these days. There is only so many hours in a day and to fit everything in is nigh impossible. I however need to do a session with my personal trainer before embarking on my journey. I find myself waiting for the gym to open at six. I assumed the place would be at least half empty at this time of the morning but it was heaving with keen early risers.
It is almost midday when we set off and a stopover later we reach our destination by evening. The evening is still young and the sun is showing no sign of abating or wanting to take a rest. We cross the road from the hotel, head to the public footpath and follow the trail. It leads us to a field around which we amble. The grass along the perimeter is trimmed to leave a path wide enough to find our way round. Wildflowers line the edge of the walkway. Butterflies flit from flower to flower. The birds chirrup and crickets chirp. Traffic drowns the sound in parts where the path gets close to the public road, which is hidden behind overgrown bushes. In quieter areas the birds hiding in the bushes call out to one another. The pigeons coo, the robins sing wistfully and in the summer sunshine the wheat strands gleam. A tractor in the nearby field is happily finishing off the last of its runs before retiring quietly for the day.
The walk takes us to All Saints church, a church with origins dating back from the period of the Norman conquest 900 years ago. Parts of the church which are from medieval times is still well preserved including the stained glass windows. From here we walk around the village past the village hall through lanes lined with stone walled houses with pretty cottage gardens and similar stones fences and trimmed hedges. The locals greet us as we walk past them. The horses are grazing in their meadows after a long day of riding lessons with children.
It is still warm when we get back and there is just enough time to freshen up and have a drink in the garden before dinner. An idyllic summer evening comes to a close as the sun finally retires for a well earned rest after the longest day in the calendar.