Monday, August 11, 2008
Dog Days of Summer
Photographer: Al Scherwinski
As a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, I look forward to the changing of the seasons. The move from winter to spring to summer to autumn and back again cannot be marked off any one specific day as we do a birthday or a holiday. It is the rhythm of life. The change from summer to fall is more than just a date on the calendar - it begins as a subtle, oh-my-gosh-when-did-that-happen change in the air. The sun makes its appearance a few minutes later each morning, the color of the late afternoon sun sets the stage for spectacular show of light at the end of the day. The sound of a cicada might go unnoticed among the crickets and the nighthawks - all signs of the Dog Days of Summer.
Sirius, the Dog Star, made its appearance, traveled across the sky and set, leading our ancestors to believe the star's heat, together with the sun, was the cause of the hot and muggy temperatures during late summer. The term Dogs Days conjures up images of white hot sunshine beating down on a parched landscape without a breath of wind. Dogs - prone to rabies were considered evil and possessed by devils - appeared irritable on the hot summer days.
But was it really due to the summers heat? Could it be that our ancestors misunderstood the lesson our four legged companions were trying to teach us?
Dog Days - I think the world would be a better place if we looked at our world from the eyes of our cocker spaniel's. To them it does not matter if 'the other side of the door' holds sunshine, rain or snow - the joy of being in just this moment is a lesson we can all learn from. How can you resist their invitation to join them in this wonderful dog day?
If I knew this was my last day on earth ... would I spend it cleaning and worrying about meeting deadlines ... or would I step outside - in the rain, snow, sun or dead of night - and enjoy a Dog Day?