Monday, August 20, 2007

About the Weather

The end of last week dawned with the most glorious August weather I could ask for, and it's still here. Brilliant blue sky, cool breeze, and warm sun, with days in the low 70s and nights in the high 40s. I told Ickie that as much as I complain about hot, humid weather, I make it up by how giddy I am when cooler, drier weather rolls around. We went out adventuring on Prout's Neck Friday afternoon, and I told him my mood was just like Peter Parker in the "happy montage" in Spiderman 2. This morning as I drove over to the bay, the classical station decided to play Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, which just intoxicated me further. I can't think of a more fitting soundtrack to a mild summer day, surrounded by sparkling water and green lawns.

Those of you long-suffering Southerners with 100-plus temps are going to get sick of me waxing romantic about the ideal summer weather--first in Santa Barbara and now Maine. I know it doesn't seem fair, but to you I say: We have a spare room and a long-standing promise to make pie for any visitors who request it.

This barometric arcadia led to thoughts of how my constant fascination with the weather spills over into or out from my favorite books. The critical scene from my childhood is Lucy walking through the wardrobe into snow-covered firs. To this day I cannot see a lamppost in the snow without wishing I were really in Narnia, and I'm just a wee bit sympathetic with the White Witch for preferring winter (although not without Christmas, obviously!). Kenneth Grahame and L.M. Montgomery give unparalleled descriptions of all the seasons in their books, even to the point that I enjoy their brand of summer. Certain scenes fill me with a sense of coziness that acts as a surrogate fireplace.

On the other hand, there are books that raise my anxiety simply by adding oppressive heat and damp. The first that comes to mind is The African Queen by C.S. Forester. I can't think of a more miserable scene than Rose and Charlie struggling through the mangrove swamp amid bouts of paralyzing malaria. Periodically throughout the book I would raise my head only to once again repeat to Ickie that I was NEVER going to central Africa.


Patches said...
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Ruin's Requiem said...

I request pie. Bloody hundred plus weather down here is horrible. Thank God it's generally a dry heat.