Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

The Dog Days of Summer

on August 19, 2014

dog days

What does that mean, anyway? According to Wikipedia:

“The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius (the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major) rose just before or at the same time as the sun – which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a red dog in April to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” according to Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813.

In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days ran from July 24th through August 24th, or, alternatively, from July 23 through August 23rd. In many European cultures (German,French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.”

I was telling my mother earlier that I’ve felt like August has been the longest month I can remember. Today is only the 19th, but it seems like two months have passed since I got back from my big trip to New York on the 1st. She told me something I didn’t know about her, which is that she’s always disliked the month of August. She said she seems to get in a funk every year at this time. That’s what got me wondering about the “dog days”.

I’ve never really noticed if I seem more prone to feeling down during this time of the year. I do always feel sort of let down after my birthday passes on the 8th of July; the rest of the summer seems empty until we finally get to Labor Day. And it gets hot here in the Southern United States. So hot that you’d rather sit on the porch in the shade than go play in the lake. When we get into the dog days, most of the time even the shady porch is too hot, and you wind up spending all your time moving as quickly as the heat will allow from one air conditioned space to another. It’s hot y’all.

And there’s been a lot going on lately, most of it not good. If you read this blog you know about all the drama with my 20-year-old Honda Accord (which from now on I will always refer to as the “stolen car”). You also know that my dear sister-in-law is in treatment for cancer (and blogging about it most courageously here). You know that my self-employment journey has been one of tremendous ups and downs – and I’m on a downswing at the moment which is no fun even though it is most likely temporary. I’m trying to be helpful to my family and my friends, but I feel like I’m not doing anything particularly well at the moment. Dog days, indeed.

Of course there are good things. I’ve had some wonderful times with great friends over the last few weeks. I had a huge breakthrough in the novel I’m working on – I have finally realized what it’s actually about. Now that I know where I’m going, I can get back on the road with it. My business partner and I are moving ahead with our plans for the future; we may leave some clients behind, but that’s ok. We know we need to keep moving forward. It’s scary, but exciting, too.

So even though I do feel stuck in the doldrums, I know the breeze will kick in soon. It always does, and when I’m sailing along I’ll look back and think, “What was I so worried about?”

photo credit: mstephens7 via photopin cc

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