Summer is here and I still have a pair of sweat pants and a sweat shirt wrapped around the chair where I dress each day. As we go through the changes that spring brings about we know we’ll occasionally still have need for those things that warmed us during winter’s chill.
Over time we abandon the material things that climate changes previously had dictated necessary in our lives. We move permanently to Florida for instance in order to avoid the snow and cold. But not living in a place that enjoys the changes of four seasons can leave us like lizards—we come out to sun, feed and drink and then we go home. Still, we are able to get rid of our bulky sweaters, coats and snow boots when we move full-time to places that only know warmth.
Being outdoors when it is cold goes against our bodies’ grains. This is good for our immune systems, I suppose. But pale skin always looks less healthy compared to the bronzed epidermis that someone from the Keys might blow into town with.
Summer gets here full time and we are soon into shorts and skirts season. This is actually quite good for our vision as our eyes get all this additional exercise looking at people who are no longer wearing the bulky attire of someone who winters in Chicago. But with all this newfound skin also comes the perspiration that goes along with it.
It is quite warm during the summer. I drove a Toyota Corolla that didn’t have air conditioning for over 20 years and somehow always got by. But it started to feel really hot towards the end of its run. Maybe it was because I was getting older. But I think it had more to do with the fact that it was just getting hotter during the summer. That, and I wasn’t moving as often as I used to. I wasn’t able to enjoy the breezes that the windows being down afforded. I found myself sitting in traffic more often as the number of vehicles on the road expanded, contributing to congestion and heat.
I’ve reacquainted myself with humidity. It’s the mugginess and closeness that makes it feel so hot. People plan their days around it so they can avoid it when it’s at its peak. They do the yard work in the evenings or mornings. In the afternoons they find respite from the heat again, turning to the cool confines of their air conditioned homes.
Summer and winter are the extreme seasons. Ironically enough, they share the commonality of people spending a good deal of time indoors during the heart of the season. People go indoors during winter after doing things like shoveling the walk or clearing off their vehicles. People go indoors during summer after cutting their lawn and working in their gardens.
Since most of us work indoors, air conditioning is a must in the summer. We are at our computers much of the day and poorly ventilated office spaces sap both humans and the technology they utilize. Sometimes we do things like wear scarfs with cooling stuff inside them around our necks. But to me this goes against the whole generally agreed upon truth that summer dictates our wearing loss clothing; adding a scarf that purports to keep us from getting hot around the collar is not consistent with that idea. But you can only take off so much clothing before getting written up or worse.
So the Fourth of July is now on the horizon since summer is officially here. After the Fourth, the summer seems to fly by. We tell acquaintances we’ll get together one weekend soon. Then it’s August and we’ve successfully remained cool most of the summer so far, but we feel it slipping away. We realize the kids are back in school and we look to fall’s promise of cooler nights. We make a trip to the basement and look at our winter parkas.
Then we go upstairs and look for a fresh pair of shorts and a t-shirt to throw on. We see the suddenly not so distant memory of winter in the sweat shirt and sweat pants hanging across the chair. We sigh, hide them with yesterday’s summer clothes and go back downstairs to read the paper on the patio with our morning coffee.
Since mornings are the treat of the day during the summer, I suggest you do the same. But try your coffee black. It’ll put a whole new perspective on the day, not to mention brace you for that slight chill in the air that serves as a reminder that even though summer’s just begun, you’ll be wearing layers again before you know it.