03JUL2018 – OCF Update – July, The Greatest Month of the Year

The earth revolves around the sun.  Well actually they both move around the common center of gravity of the whole solar system.  But since the sun is monstrously heavier than the rest of the solar system combined, this center of gravity is within the spheroid of the sun so I won’t quibble about it (starting now!).  So, the year is based on the Earth’s orbit around the sun which takes 365 days and a fraction.  A month is supposed to correspond to the revolution of Luna around Earth.  This is about 28 days.  If you try and divide 365 and a fraction by 28 and a fraction you are not going to get a whole number.  And this makes perfect sense.  The revolutional periods are completely unrelated.  And so, we end up with months with lengths varying from 28 days to 31 days and even one that varies every four years to try and make up for the fractions.   What a silly system.  Days, weeks, months (if we even need them at all) and years should be decoupled and allowed to do their own thing.  And don’t even get me started about daylight savings time.  So, you can see I have no particular respect for the calendar and its divisions.

But there is one exception.  Every year I wax poetic about my quasi-religious devotion to one particular example of the imperfect lunar division to the solar year, namely the month of July.  July is the greatest human invention that I know of.  In the northern hemisphere, which is the only hemisphere that I probably will ever encounter, July represents the quintessence of earthly delight.  The days are long, the weather is hot and sunny, and the human spirit cries out for leisure and fun.  And every year I answer that call.  I make sure to take time off and commune with nature and with my friends and family, read books and watch movies, engage in various silly recreational activities, eat all kinds of delicious poisons and commit all manner of misdemeanors against the work ethic.  It’s as close to heaven on earth as I know of.  Now here in New England, where the inhabitants take irrational pride in their ability to withstand horrific climatic extremes of cold and sunless gloom there are many who find July too “hot.”  I guess to each his own.  Maybe my Mediterranean blood is irrational in preferring extreme heat and light to more hyperborean conditions.  But based on my observation of the rest of the New England persona I think humanity would confirm my bias over theirs.  So I’ll take it as a given that July rules.

And the beauty of this month is that everyone else is more or less doing the same thing.  Business productivity goes to hell, television is taken over by boring reruns and truly unwatchable replacement series that no one bothers with and the only people really working are amusement park and hotel employees.  Even website traffic hits its low point in July.  And that is good.  Bloggers need time to recharge their batteries and readers need a break from blather.

Now, don’t panic.  I do not intend to abandon the faithful readers of Orion’s Cold Fire.  After all, writing this blog is one of the high points of my week (and we’ll talk about the origin of the week another time) and not something to be abandoned just because fun is to be had.  I will be providing quotes and photos on my usual daily basis and I will comment on the unfolding Trumpocalypse on a fairly regular basis and I will provide Trump parodies and movie and book reviews as I produce them.  But I might not be as punctual as I usually am and I may have a short hiatus here and there.  After all, July is also my birth month and I like to be lazy right around that blessed date.  So, bear with me and we’ll get through this together.

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July

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.