Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer Dreams and Nightmares

Students and teachers are often sure that the best season of the year is the summer. The former believe so because they can sleep late and not go to school while the latter get paid of doing nothing, at least in theory.  Yet, for some parents, summer vacation is a three month period of service as entertainment director, ATM and community police officer.  No wonder, most parents view September 1 as the real independence day.

Geography also plays a part in seasonal feelings.  Residents of countries in the far northern and southern hemispheres, such as the Scandinavian countries, as well as those with long rainy winters, notably Oregon and Washington where I lived, long for the bright sun of long summer days. Such people spend every possible minute outside soaking in the rays.  By contrast, in Israel, where I live now, and other hot places, the summer means that you can only be outside for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening due to the grueling temperatures.  Like those suffering parents, we long for the coming of the autumn, when air conditioning and three showers a day are no longer necessary.

Sentiment regarding to the summer is also affected by one’s profession.  To work year round, a person would have to be both a ski instructor and life guard.  Farmers and hotels make hay in the summer, sometimes literally.  By contrast, all that coat and boot producers can do is hope for a cool fall and winter.  Firefighters must have similar feelings.
Age confuses the issue.  Almost nobody remembers being too hot as a child.  Whether this lack of recollection is because summers were less hot, people’s memory are short or kids don’t suffer from weather, I don’t know.  By contrast, the older we get, the more the temperature seems to affect us, both cold and heat.  This sensitivity is quite sad, but apparently unavoidable.

Finally, there are those for whom it makes no difference.  People with jobs in malls and offices exist in controlled temperatures whose work load is basically unaffected by the outside world.   This is the exact opposite of police in the street and construction people of any kind, who are intimate with their daily weather.

So, if beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so is our perception of the summer.

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