It is not hot where I live, but warm enough for me. The west coast of Canada is known for its lush rainforest, ocean views, and wetness more than its sunshine. Still, we have some of the highest percentage of rainless days per year across the country. It suits me fine. I am not a heat-weathered girl. It is hot enough for me here when the sun is out and breeze across the ocean lies still.
I grew up in the interior of this province, among mountains and fields and rivers and trees. It was hot when I was younger, but not with stifling humidity — I remember summers of bathing suits and sun burns and always looking for water to cool off in. The many lakes and rivers nearby were a welcome relief, even if they were glacier fed at times and their waters ran deep and cold.
I worked in the silviculture industry for many years; one of my jobs was brushcutting. This is where you have a weed whacker with a blade on it and clear out any vegetation around newly planted trees that will compete for nutrients, sunlight, and growth space. Because of the spinning blade, sparks can fly – literally. When it’s hot, and the forest is dry, this extreme condition is a potential hazard for forest fires. Then you minimize those chances by working “fire hours” – getting up at 3 or 4 am, waiting for the sun to rise so you can see what you are doing as you work, and getting off the mountain before the heat of the day hits.
It’s amazing to wake up in the late, late hours of the night -or wee hours of the morning- and already feel warm. The heat just tolerable as it begins to rise with you. The flies are already dazed; they coast aimlessly in slow, drawn-out circles seeking out a cool draft. The more movements you make the more the heat suffocates. The quiet of the morning is slowly covered by the impending warmth of the day.
One year my parents took us to Mexico. I don’t remember the time of year — probably late Spring. We’d stopped in California at Disneyland for a few days on our way down and it was already hot. The rides felt stuffy and clammy. The stickiness never washed off. When we got to Mexico it was unbearable in the hotel rooms. There was minimal air conditioning and the fans had to run day and night.
We spent the day on the beach and decided to head into the next town for dinner. Because we’d heard it wasn’t far (and my dad was cheap) we were going to walk. After spending all day in the heat on the beach, dragging three kids under the ages of 10 along an unsheltered highway was certainly not the best plan. But we walked. We ran out of water almost immediately and any exposed skin was sunburnt. I think it took us over an hour to reach any kind of civilization, although I know at least two cabs passed us as we suffered. I think my dad worried about getting ripped off so he held firm to the belief that walking was saving us money.
Certainly we didn’t save any time or our well-being. When we finally stopped walking, my younger brother almost immediately fell asleep in the chair he sat in, and I had heat stroke. I spent the next few days either throwing up or watching the fan slowly spin around the roof, adding to my nausea.
It is summertime now. The sun is out and people are shiny and happy. I like going to bed with only a sheet to cover me and the windows open. It can feel warm some days, but it is never unwelcome. Here, with the northern breezes and complicated weather patterns, the heat knows it’s place. It leaves just as we get comfortable and start to move to its different rhythm, just as we settle into summer nights and expect it to stretch on forever.
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Also visit the incredible and wonderful duo who created and encouraged this Blog Hop: Emily of The Waiting and Ashley at Zebra Garden — these two gals dance some amazing moves with words.