The line goes there are only two seasons in New England. Winter and July. Usually I have this big family gathering in July. It’s a ton of planning and communication and it sort of monopolizes a good chunk of the month with the before, during and after. But conflicting commitments have forced me to schedule the event in late August. In a way, this is kind of a good thing. This means I can enjoy July on its own merits. So, the New England statement about July acknowledges the fact that July is pure summer. June can start out feeling like spring. August can end up feeling like fall. July has no excuses. It has to deliver. Too many children (and adults) are depending on it. On Bastille Day, I want to look up at a pale blue sky with a blazing sun forcing me to close my eyes and feel the heat of the daystar on my face. I want to lay in a hammock under a shady tree and hear the deafening whir of the cicadas in the trees overhead. I want a hot breeze to blow over me and feel the oven-like heat surround me and make me think that jumping in a swimming pool is actually a good idea. I want a glass of lemonade to seem tempting. I want to be so lazy that reading an old book like Dandelion Wine sounds strenuous. I want to put off anything difficult like watching old movies or eating ice cream until night. I want to watch a baseball game as if I actually care who wins. I want to take my grandsons fishing. I want to take the perfect photo of the Milky Way or a dragonfly’s eye. I want to write a classic short story. And I want to spend one whole day just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
As you can tell I’m pretty passionate about July. Truth be told July belongs to me. I patented it many years ago. I own it lock stock and barrel. So, I feel it’s my duty to reap the maximum benefit from it every year. And once it’s over I relinquish my hold on summer. After that it’s fitting to put aside childish things. It’ll be time to start considering the realities of the calendar. And sure, there are all kinds of things to look forward to in Autumn. There’s Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas ahead with all that those entail. But never again for the rest of the year ahead is there that feeling of pure freedom. Maybe it’s my Mediterranean blood. Possibly northern peoples don’t crave the intemperate heat of July. Or maybe if I lived in a southern state I would have my fill of heat and shun July’s burning sun. Maybe. But neither of these is the case. I truly believe that if July disappoints and does not present me with the extreme weather I crave then my whole year is spoiled and I will go into the colder seasons weakened and at a disadvantage.
So, you see July is my time. Maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way. But trust me, July belongs to me. The rest of you just get to borrow it. But I don’t mind sharing. You’re welcome. Enjoy.