I am choosing today as a personal Turning Point for a variety of reasons. Today is the June solstice, a natural turning point in the solar year:
Of course, it is the summer solstice (longest day) in the northern hemisphere, and the winter solstice (shortest day) in the southern hemisphere:
People who live on the equator don’t have much to write home about on this day, but those north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle have 24 hours of daylight or 24 hours of darkness respectively, so it’s a reasonably dramatic turning point for them. Between the tropics and the Arctic/Antarctic Circles, worldwide, the solstice is a milder, but nonetheless important, turn of the year for all cultures.
Because in 1986 the June solstice and the Full (Strawberry) Moon fell on a Saturday, my wife (RIP) and I chose it for our wedding day:
Generally at this time of year I start traveling and call a halt to this blog for a few weeks because I don’t have time for daily posts. This year I am leaving Mantua for Mandalay where I will be teaching for the next 8 months, so why not take today as my Turning Point? I’ll be gone from posting here for a few weeks as I adjust to a new culture and a new timetable.
Tonight I’m having a dinner party for a few friends to mark the day as a transition point for me. It’s stiflingly hot in Mantua right now, so I’m making an entirely cold meal, and I am following standard Italian norms: antipasti, i primi, i secondi, dolci. This is my last chance before I get immersed in Burmese cuisine.
My antipasti are prosciutto, tomino Langherino, and smoked salmon:
First course is pasta primavera:
Second course is chicken breast in olive oil and lemon over a bed of mixed salad:
Dessert is a Margherita cake with apples, glazed with fruit sauce and filled with frutti di bosco (optional whipped cream):
A dopo amici.