The Dog Days of Summer
We have now entered that scorching hot time of the year known as the dog days of summer. Here in Texas, it is a period from mid-July through August characterized by extreme heat and drought. Many consider the almost unbearable afternoon heat during the dog days of summer to be among the most uncomfortable weather days of the year.
The idiom “dog days of summer” actually has nothing to do with lazy dogs seeking shade in an effort to avoid the hot summer sun. Surprisingly, the idiom refers to the bright star Sirius, also known as the Dog Star. In the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius appears close to the constellation Orion in mid-summer. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians noted the appearance of Sirius as a sign of the arrival of the hottest part of summer. Through the centuries, references to the dog days of summer ushered in by the arrival of Sirius continued to appear in many cultures.
Today, many Texans seek to escape the heat by traveling to the cool mountain air of Colorado or to the refreshing ocean breezes of the Florida beaches during their summer vacations. Students flock to summer camps in higher altitudes near cool lakes or rivers. A fortunate few get to go on Alaskan fishing trips or on family vacations to Hawaii. Still others target the water rides at amusement parks or simply let their children play in the lawn sprinklers. Regardless of the destination or activity, the common goal is a temporary escape from the heat.
While the dog days of summer can be brutally hot, they also reveal the many wonderful ways that we come together to deal with the heat. Children and children at heart alike enjoy ice cream, snow cones, and frozen popsicles. Swim lessons at the city pool and private pool parties are in full swing. Boating trips at the lake or inner tubing trips down the river bring people together. For some reason, the extreme heat brings causes us to unite and bond…especially in air-conditioned spaces.
It is during this blistering heat that I am reminded of how incredibly thankful I am to have the privilege to work with the Weatherford College extended family and to live in this incredible community. We have amazing people who care about each other and this wonderful place that we call home. The social distancing days of COVID-19 are gone. In these dog days of summer, it is time to pour a glass of iced tea and to savor each other’s company.