Summer for my soul

I’ve realized something since moving back to the Chicago area from Colorado two years ago. I love summer. I mean, I really love summer. It’s not like we didn’t get summer in Denver, for we certainly did (and my poor friends are suffering through a brutal heat wave right now), but it was different. It wasn’t uncommon for the temps to tickle the upper 60s or even the lower 70s in the middle of winter. Granted, the snowiest months were March and April, but the occasional warm and sunny day in hellish February got me through many a miserable week.

It just seems that summer was less of an event there, because it wasn’t as cold or as grey or as bloody miserable for as long as it is here in Chicago. Here, it’s Summer, capitalized with decorative scrolls. Summer Has Arrived. There are few happy surprises of warm days mid-winter, so when warm weather finally does arrive we all appreciate the heck out of it.

Does this mean I spend my days outdoors, frolicking to and fro in the summer breeze? Oh hells no. I wilt above 84 degrees, humidity levels here start at a gazillion percent and go up from there, and years of band camps and college marching band have killed my love of being outdoors in inclement weather of any kind.

It’s just that I love the bright golden sun, the long days with peaceful twilights, lighting bugs (something we didn’t have in Colorado), margaritas on the porch, the green lushness from a well-soaked Chicago spring, and the calm relief that I survived another cold and grey season. I know many people who prefer winter, if for no other reason than if you’re cold you can add layers, but when you’re hot there’s a legal limit to clothing removal. I can appreciate their reasoning, but no matter how many layers I put on I’m still cold, and no matter how many full-spectrum lights I sit under for hours on end it’s still grey and miserable outside. And when I’m cold and stressed and suffering from SAD everything clenches and does very bad things to my body. Amazing how my jaw is healing now that I’m not shivering every blasted day. Oh, and lowering stress levels yadayadayada.

It’s summer here in Chicago…finally. It is hot and muggy and sunny with awesome thunderstorms and the perfect balm to my soul. I plan to soak up every last drip of it and store it away to get me through another long and tiresome Chicago winter.

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