When I was a child living on my maternal grandparents’ farm in the red clay of south Georgia, which we did for six years, I had to take a nap after lunch.
In the summertime, it was quite warm, and someone would switch on a desk fan, the oscillating sort, to keep me nice and cool.
Later, as a young but full-grown man, living in New Orleans, I would steer my motorcycle the few short miles in summertime from my home on Prytania Street to the newspaper where I worked, if you can call that work, arriving at the office sweat-drenched even after the street “breeze” in my face.
It was a breeze from a blast furnace.
Years after that, in Houston, I had mostly given up motorcycles, preferring a car with air-conditioning, I suffered a bit less because Houston is fresher than New Orleans, but not by much. Sometimes, not at all.
In all that time, there were two life constants: Miserable, humid heat for much of the year and a dull landscape flat as an Aunt Jemima pancake, which are quite tasty, by the way, that specific brand, with true maple syrup.
Finally, no longer having to work for a living and carefree, I could go wherever I wished and do whatever I wanted, so I did.
It is now August, the Dog Days, that most miserable month of summer, but I don’t care. I wake up every morning, and it’s 60 degrees or less. I can stand on the upstairs terraza and watch the chill sunrise over the mountains.
The endless sweat and humdrum terrain have vanished.
Landing on my feet, I live in a glorious world.