Friday, July 23, 2010
Sapped by Summer
Summer. It's my least favorite season.
Here in Southern California, everything turns brown, scorched into wilted ugliness by the hot sun. We live in a glorified desert anyway (San Diego receives less than ten inches of rain per year), and summer not only points to the ugliness; it screams it. Rather loudly, too.
The verdant green of our mountains in spring is now a dull beige...a few hardy blooms attempt to add color but fail dismally. The smell of smoke in the air sends a frisson of fear down one's spine; the danger of fire is on everyone's minds from now until the November rains arrive to save us. Our small town has been endangered three times in the past seven years by fires swooping through the canyons and ravines between the scrubby hillsides. One can only bow head...and pray.
The days seem to blaze together, one into another, passing in a blur of fans and sunscreen and Otterpops and iced tea. No day seems to stand out--all become one long, seemingly-endless day of sweat itching its way between my shoulder blades, of hair pulled back and up, stiff with perspiration, of downing glass after glass after glass of water--and still being thirsty.
I don't do well in the summer heat. I melt rather easily, in fact.
Heat is usually welcome to me. I need a heated pad on the back of my neck each night. To help me sleep each night for the past seven years, I relax in my jacuzzi made especially for people with rheumatoid arthritis. I love to curl up under the weight of blankets.
All three of these modes of relief do not work too well in the summer...to my detriment.
I freeze the neck pad, but it just doesn't offer the same level of relief as 90 seconds in the microwave does. I turn the jacuzzi down from 99 to 95, but it just doesn't relax my tight muscles enough to permit deep sleep. And blankets...forgetaboutit.
Sigh. I walk around zombie-like, sleep-deprived. But mid-day naps are impossible since my upstairs bedroom is the temperature of a boiler room.
I do love the time off from home education...the days at the beach...the freedom...the opportunity to rest my body. I wish that my long break came in the winter months (all except the beach...naw, even that!) when I can curl up with a hot cuppa Irish Breakfast and relax in front of the fire with a fine novel or with a journal, pen, and ink. Now that is relaxation!
The stuffiness of summer heat makes me lightheaded. We don't have air conditioning in our Southern California mountain cabin--although this past week we installed an attic fan...right in our bedroom window. It's loud but somewhat effective. But I am still drained by the heat, wilted by the blazing sun. And out hottest months here, August and September, are still ahead of us.
I have projects brewing...writing projects, cleaning/organizing projects, gardening projects, reading projects...and I get to them once in a while. But the summer heat leeches away my joy and melts my enthusiasm into mere puddles around my feet--it's rather disgusting, actually. Pretty darn gross.
And sad. So sad.
Melting into a puddle again,