Desperately seeking summer: if not here, somewhere else

Weather-wise, this has been a pretty bad summer. I hesitate to even use the word summer because it is a stretch.

Really, we’ve had a nice spring or fall, but certainly it has not shaped up to the season usually marked by weeks of gloriously hot, sunny days.

There have been only glimmers of summer weather, so few in fact, that my air conditioner has only come on twice in three months, and we haven’t bothered to water the lawn (though last week we probably should have).

I love the sun. I love the feeling of the first warm spring day’s rays on my face. I love curling up in a sunbeam that warms my couch. I’ll strategically place myself, not unlike a cat, to maximize the amount of sun on my body. I am happier when it is sunny out. I see more smiling faces, and strangers are more apt to say hello on sunny days.

I am not a winter fanatic, and I’ll admit that even though I find spring hopeful, it is nothing more than a transitory phase in my wait for summer.

I prefer waking up when it is light outside, not waiting for the sun to catch up to my morning routine.

Autumn is my second favourite season, eking out the last remnants of nice weather before the shadow of winter crashes down like a heavy dark velvet curtain. (You also can’t beat the tapestry of fall colours that drapes our area in late September and early October).

Yes, I love the summer. I crave the intense heat of a summer’s day sun for my 10-minute, natural, free vitamin D hit.

Unfortunately, we’ve had many rainy days of late.

When the summer here failed to start, I turned my face, like a sunflower, to sunny destinations. I got tired of waiting and went to find my own summer. Not one to mess about, I chose two of the hottest places possible: the Grand Canyon and Egypt. Neither disappointed me, with temperatures soaring up to 46 degrees Celsius. It was hot. Mad hot.
Melt your face a la Raiders of the Lost Ark hot.

The sun shone every day, brightly, unforgiving at times, but I wasn’t going to complain. For the most part, it was a dry heat, so dry that you didn’t know you were sweating. No sooner had the sweat reached your skin, it evaporated instantly.

Respecting the predominantly Muslim culture of Egypt, I avoided baking my skin in the sun, and instead I wore the lightest of light cotton clothing. Capri pants were my most revealing outfit and my shoulders and knees rarely saw the light of day.

Not a month earlier, at the Grand Canyon, my skin understood what it felt like to be a baked potato, so I had no problem with more conservative attire.

Conservative light cotton clothing is one thing, but I had to wonder how it was possible that locals could wear heavy jeans.

I would have thought that this attire defied the laws of physics and that jeans should have raised their core temperature so high that they would actually spontaneously burst into flames in front of me.

Jeans seem to be a status symbol, with the chart-topping stars strutting about in them in their videos . . . but, there is nothing “cool” about the idea of pulling on a pair of Levi’s in 46 degrees Celsius.

One guy sporting jeans said “you get used to the heat here.” But I wasn’t convinced considering I’ve yet to get used to the cold in Canada (that and the fact that his sweaty brow betrayed him).

Also while in Egypt, I looked at some of the cosmetics and medicines I had with me and noted that they are not supposed to be stored above certain temperatures. Those maximum temperatures we passed before 9 a.
m. most days.

Then I started to wonder if their refrigerators were double wide or had extra space to keep a pantry of such products cool.

My heat-sensitive products were definitely fine on the Egypt Air flights that hopped us from Cairo to Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor, and back to Cairo. Even wearing a sweater and a blanket, I was shivering. The air-conditioning kept the cabin truly frigid. The same went for the airports.

Surprisingly though, the Egyptian Museum, which houses the country’s national treasures, was only air-conditioned in three out of close to 100 rooms.

For a total of two weeks, in two destinations, I found summer. I tried to bottle it since “they” say it will be a long, cold winter.

If that doesn’t work I’ll have to dig deep and remember Albert Camus’
words: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.