The dog days of summer

Bees and other insects buzz lazily around the garden while a light breeze plays through the apricot leaves and rustles the liquid-ambers. I close my eyes and absorb the sound of children splashing in the pool and the golden warmth of the late afternoon sun. These are the dog days of summer.

I wake bleary-eyed in the morning, grateful for the light, cool breeze wafting through the house, keeping the temperature lower than it otherwise would have been. By the time we’ve had breakfast, the rising heat has sapped my energy and I find myself fighting an inner battle to find the motivation to clean the house and cook. After lunch, I collapse on the couch and reading soon degenerates to snoozing. I’m consumed with guilt over all the undone tasks, the unfulfilled intentions.

And then it strikes me. This is summer! In northern Italy, it’s short – 2 to 3 months of really warm weather. And everyone tells me that after Ferragosto (the 15th of August, which is a major holiday here) the weather changes almost overnight (and it’s true!) Portable pools are cleaned, folded and put away, or covered if left out, and no amount of good weather in September can convince a Northern Italian that they should open the pool and swim. So I should enjoy these dog days while I can. Once Ferragosto is past, it’s back to the Italian version of the rat race as school starts and preparation heads towards Christmas.

So I’m grateful for this time to relax and watch the season pass by. I’m also grateful for wonderful new neighbours who have decided that the plastic pool they inherited when they bought can be used by all three families living here. What a difference to the previous situation of watching others swim and not being able to do so ourselves!

I’ll see you in the pool, or maybe at a festival, or if it’s after lunch, be quiet because I’ll be snoozing. And if nothing gets done, that’s also ok!

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