Isn’t it wonderful how one day, one date, can suddenly be loaded with so much importance, anticipation and joy. June 21st seems to be gearing up to be such a day. The June solstice is our signal to celebrate summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This solstice marks the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. Early dawns, long days, late sunsets and short nights. The sun at its height each day, as it crosses the sky.
Longer days means more sunshine (hopefully) and more Vitamin D which experts say is a vital element in managing the coronavirus. Right on cue the Government has chosen that day as the official end of lockdown restrictions (Indian variant permitting!). Step 4, by which the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact, to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances.
The Government’s message is, “we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.”
The vaccination programme has gone so well, restrictions could be gone from June 21st, which will pave the way for the third, arguably the most exciting reason for us to celebrate in Suffolk. This year the organisers of Suffolk Day have chosen 21st June. The theme, very appropriately, is around three words – Rejoice, Revisit and Remember. The message from their poster says it all:
Suffolk Day is a chance to REJOICE in our county’s community spirit and resolve that has seen us look after friends and neighbours, the Suffolk way, this past difficult year. Despite lockdowns, we keep our chins up. Let’s REVISIT some of the reasons we love where we live. As the most easterly county, the sun shines on us first. We are famous for our wide Suffolk skies, beautiful beaches, unspoilt heathland and rich heritage of timber-framed cottages and ancient buildings. We have much to celebrate about our past, and about our future too – with world-class creativity, arts and culture; all on our doorstop. Let’s look forward to REVISITING our brilliant festivals, sports gatherings, shows and venues. Of course we should never forget those we love, and have sadly lost. Let us REMEMBER to share our thanks to all those who have cared for and nursed people back to health – those generous charities and fearless frontline workers, county-wide. Saving time to revisit the many problems that we will need to solve.
Whether your Suffolk roots run deep or are more recently planted, Suffolk Day is for everyone. Let’s reach across the county, elbow-bump or wave, throughout our unique annual celebration. Let the message from under our masks be clear – no airs and graces, friendly faces, Suffolk we love you!
Hopefully Bildeston will be participating in some way on the 21st June. Let’s just be thankful we live in Suffolk and the management of Covid is in sight.