We are deep in the heart of summer. Grasshoppers bounce against the windows and cling to the screens above my desk. They tease the cats and make a smorgasbord out of the calla lilies, once bold and large-leafed, now a lacy, droopy mess.
But is it fair to expect anything different in July? In Texas?
Yesterday I sweated through a round of golf and watched my score rise in sync with the thermometer, both settling dangerously close to the 100 mark. When the game was over, I muttered, “this might be it for awhile.”
It’s that time of year when I need to do one of two things: visit a cooler climate or succumb to hibernation.
I suffer in July and August, a victim of SAD — not the Sad American Diet, but a victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition most often associated with the winter blues. For those who live in higher latitudes, winter can bring a pervasive sadness that creeps in and takes up residence for several weeks.
In the south we experience the reverse. Winter is easy for us. We work in the yard without sweating too much, we go on extended fishing trips, we take long, arduous hikes in the hill country, and we even relish the few days when it’s finally cold enough to wear a winter coat.
But summer in Texas is a different thing. As soon as the last remaining bottle rockets are fired after the Fourth of July, we become blinded by the sunlight. Our bodies feel heavy, sluggish, seemingly motionless. If we give in to this inertia, we are doomed.
Counting today, there are seventy days until the fall equinox, September 23, 2015. Seventy days until the weather begins to turn and we feel a hint of autumn in the air.
These upcoming days could prove dangerous. You see the dog days of summer lie ahead. And they can be tough!
It’s true! Or at least possible that crimes of passion increase during the months of July and August more so than at other times of the year. The heat can literally drive you mad!
Temperatures continue an upward trend, moods shift drastically and the most angelic person can turn into an angry beast. I’m warning myself and you to take note and be prepared to face our inner shadows, to be mindful that our behavior does not mirror the rise and fall of the heat index.
However, this year could be different since we have yet to top 100 degrees. So in honor of a milder summer, I’ve decided to forego total hibernation and simply embrace my nocturnal nature.
If by chance you do come looking for me at high noon, don’t be surprised to find me living dangerously close to the edge — the edge of my seat in a dark movie theater or the edge of sleep as I indulge in an afternoon nap. I will lie there, content and dreamy, until the heat subsides and I am beckoned by the promise of a cool evening shade.
“Dog Days.” Wikipedia. 19 June 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_days. July 14, 2015.
“Fall Equinox.” Time and Date. http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/autumnal-equinox.html. July 14, 2015
Folkenberg, Judy, and Cindy Spitzer. “The Edgy Season.” The Chicago Tribune. June 18, 1989. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-06-18/features/8902100389_1_depression-thomas-wehr-heat/2. July 14, 2015.
“Seasonal Affective Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. Sept. 20. 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047. July 14,2015.