Ready for the summer sun

Published May 17, 2010
It’s easy to forget about the hot, humid days of summer in the middle of spring, when cool, rainy days and cold nights make me think I’ll never be warm, especially when we have frost overnight in the second week of May. While playing at a dance on May 8, I mentioned to a fellow musician that the hall was getting brisk because overheated dancers opened several windows rather than step outside. The temperature dipped to the low 40s or upper 30s that night, and, sitting still, exerting myself only enough to move a violin bow or to strum a guitar, I felt the cold quite quickly, but my fellow musician told me he loved these cool nights, which reminded him of fall, and that he prefers cold weather. I was horrified at the thought of fall just as May has arrived — I can’t imagine wishing for fall just when all that cold is ending.
I dislike being cold. I have long believed that in many ways I’m a Southerner at heart, preferring summer heat to winter cold. The day before that cold dance night we had a warm day, and I trimmed weeds along the goat pasture fence, luxuriating in the sun’s soothing warmth, enjoying sweating while I wore a palm hat. I was wearing two long-sleeve shirts and considered removing the outer shirt, but I didn’t want to stain the inner shirt, which was white, so I chose to be hot instead. When I began trimming, Eutzly stood exactly where I needed to work — in that sense he is like a cat — but soon he lay on some ornamental grass that came from our garden and from the neighbor’s garden until the sun got too warm, when he moved to the shade by his house. I found a toad in the tall weeds and gently placed him (or her) through the fence, encountering him again when I trimmed outside the fence. Memories of that warm afternoon stayed with me at that dance, but I still felt cold, and I wished for more of that hot sun.
On the other hand, I know a young woman who is living for two years in Singapore, and she wrote an interesting blog post, at, about things she misses, including cool weather and snow. When her mother complained that the furnace keeps running, she said she would love weather cool enough to necessitate the running of the furnace. She mentions on her post that she misses wearing warm, fuzzy clothing and hot chocolate. That is one thing I like about cool weather — I like to wear layers of cotton, wool and leather, and in the heat of summer I miss my wool tams and coats. But cold weather lasts so long here that I tire of it and crave warm, direct sun.
I’ve learned that the sensation of warmth and cold is quite subjective, that although I may feel cold others are warm. That may explain why so many bald men walk around hatless in the depth of winter and why I run a small heater at work while coworkers sit around in short sleeves.
Even when the heat and humidity gather steam and make me finally shed my spare shirts, resorting to straw hats and short sleeves, I’m thankful for the heat, and especially for the sun shining high overhead. I need that sun to carry me through the long months of winter. I’m thankful that May is here.

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