Thursday, August 22, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon -- Day 2 -- Summer!

The prompt: We are about to enter into a gentler season i.e. Autumn/Fall if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. For me, these seasons often feel like a relief after the intensity of Summer and Winter. How do you intend to transition into the new season?

Oh, I am so NOT a summer person, especially as an adult. Even as a kid, I hated being hot and sweaty and sticky and dirty, and greatly preferred finding a cool, shady space where I could read for hours undisturbed. Not for me the summer sports or the cool blue of the public pool that was an easy bike ride from my house.

There was a fragrant tree that bloomed on the side of our house and aided by huge lilac bushes, the side yard facing our neighbor's blank-walled garage was my little private haven. I put blankets down to create a soft bed, took two or three books of the bike-basket-full I'd borrow from the bookmobile that stopped every other week in a park near out house, and read for hours, the dappled shade flickering on the pages, and what breeze there might have been in the hot, humid Missouri summers fluffing my hair.

When I was a little older and able to ride the city bus by myself, I'd venture to the main library, a huge old Carnegie building, and spend the day browsing in the cool company of quiet librarians and slightly musty odor of old books. I read my way through the entire collection of fairy and folk tales one summer -- every volume of "Under the **** Umbrella" books, Grimm and Anderson, and a myriad of folk tales and mythology.

My brother spent all day every day outside, playing with his friends by the creek (forbidden but done anyway), playing team sports, riding bikes, getting dirty and stinky and happy as a pig in mud.

I don't like sweating. I hate humidity. I am not an athlete. I'm not fond of bugs and things that bite. I like the occasional picnic, but civilized, with chilled lemonade, chocolate cake, lovely chicken sandwiches, cherries, and perhaps some pickles. On a tablecloth and a clean picnic bench, please.

Where I live now gets very hot in the summer; the one plus being that the humidity is often in the single digits. I get very tired of endless sun, crispy grass (because California's green season is in the winter and spring), tired dark blue-green oak leaves that literally shrivel on the tree towards the end of summer and fall off.. As summer comes to a close, the nights cool down more, usually enough to open the windows and turn on the window fan to freshen and cool the stale house air, but in the height of summer, it can still be 90 degrees at midnight. ''

This year I intend to transition by leaving town and going to cooler climates! I am hoping that by the time we get back home towards the end of September, the days will be comfortably warm and the nights even slightly chilly. Typically it will still be weeks before jeans and sweaters and rain gear come out well into October, but at least the end is in sight.

I have a winter heart. I have always known this, born as I was in November in cold, wintry Minnesota, always preferring the snuggly wools and fleeces and flannels, the wood stove fires, the thick, warming soups and stews, mugs of strong hot coffee in the morning and fragrant steaming tea in the afternoon and evening. My passions run deep and fiery but are not always visible at the surface, and I can freeze ice with a look if so motivated. I have a winter heart.

I welcome the annual transition from naked, put-it-all-out-there summer to the crisp and bounteous days of autumn, and relish the inward reflection and renewal of our California winters.  Bring it on.


Julie Jordan Scott said...

I live in the California Central Valley - Grapes of Wrath territory. It is so hot here... I'll be looking for autumn at the end of November/early December.

I loved reading your words today. So descriptive and fun...

Kat McNally said...

Ahhh, the Winter heart! Having visited MN for the first time this year, I have a sense of what you mean. :)
There's nothing like snuggling in, though, is there? Enjoy. xx