Friday, September 01, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

I have often wondered exactly what this expression meant, and from where it came. I did some reading this morning to try to pin it down, but to no avail. Apparently even such a tome as The Oxford Companion to the Year cannot definitively say what or when the Dog Days are. All it can say is that they are hot. Ah, well, I'm glad we cleared that up.

I guess then, we are in the Dog Days of summer. I always think of the Dog Days as late August into September, but most importantly, the hot humid days that just won’t go away. That’s what I mean by Dog Days—"Dogged Days." Like a terrier that just won’t let go of a toy, the atmosphere just won’t let go of the heat. Won’t give in to the cool crispness that it knows is coming, won’t give up the searing sun. The sun blazes stronger at this time, and in the direct sun summer still reigns supreme, but that’s the only place that summer is still winning—in the shade it’s getting cooler, at night it’s getting cooler. The sun fights back with a vengeance; it fights so hard because it knows it’s going to lose.

It will cool, the leaves will turn, the sky will open and it will rain, and the days of Old Sol in his/her glory will have to wait until next summer to come back full force.

My favorite thing about the Dog Days is, they can’t last forever.

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