Summer rhythm

Today truly feels like summer: paralyzingly stinkin’ hot. Interestingly enough, today My Sweetie and I have fallen in the old-school summer rhythm…some because of the heat but some out of synchronicity, I expect. 

Do you know the summer rhythm? 

It’s not so common now, what with hard-core air conditioning in most of the places we go. But during the transition, which lasted nearly to the turn of the century, it went like this:

Get up early. The world stil feels cool, or cool-ish, and the day is manageable. Get your day going. 

Move slowly. There is no point in a brisk walk, because the extra heat you generate will wear you down. Enjoy the morning coolth as you stroll through it. 

As the day deepens, keep to the shade. Sun on the head is even hotter than the sun left alone. 

Have cool drinks and water, of course. Sitting to drink them adds the benefit of not-moving. If you’re lucky enough to have a breeze, rejoice. 

After a slow lunch, go lay down. Sure, you could nap now if you want — why not? — but mostly it’s the hottest, most wearying part of the day. Stillness is key, alongside shade/no sun. At my Granny and Skipper’s, there were window air conditioners that only got turned on when you were in the room. The blowing air was cold but the room air was hot, so the smart strategy was to lay flat under the blower’s trajectory with no limbs touching. Like a human starfish, with a book. If there’s not even that much A/C, the strategy works for fans, too. 

At “sun lay over,” as I once heard that the Gullah of Georgia call it, pull yourself back together — maybe you took off your top and shorts so the fan-breeze could better reach your skin — and head back into activity. It may still be a little warm for speed, but by the time the sun sets you’ll be all right. 

My Sweetie and I were spurred out of bed today for a different reason, but once we were going we just kept on with it. I suppose we’ve lived long enough the other way that the habit has stuck. 

<shrug> Anyway, it was a good nap. 

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