Oh, how I loathe the summer. It’s as if my whole outlook on life shifts as the spring rains give way to the unbearable South Carolina heat and humidity. Oh, the humidity, the soul sucking, clothes drenching, heaviness that is this humidity. It’s a wonder that anyone ever remained here after the expansion to the west. At the present moment, I can’t understand why.
A southern summer is no laughing matter. She comes on early and winter all but has to kick her out each year like a dog who has wandered into the kitchen. That’s if we ever see a winter! No, more than likely, we will be lucky to enjoy a few fall-like days, a few cold rains, and then we will begin the warm up of spring and start all over again. But those few fall like days, those are the days at which you can see South Carolina at her finest.
As I day dream now, I picture a back water creek, her water rolling lazily about under the oaks that rise above her banks. I picture a few wind blown falling leaves, the yellow a stark contrast to the mud stained waters as they float downstream and out of sight. In my dream, I glide along listening to the bark of a startled squirrel, angry that I have interrupted his gathering of acorns on the bank that I passed by. I wonder if I will be lucky enough to catch a group of summer ducks milling about at the next bend. I look up to watch wispy clouds ride the breeze above me, the sky a shade of blue that makes the eyes smile just to gaze upon it. In my dream, I am lost in a world that is welcoming to each and every one of my senses. The air is clean and light, each breathe rehabilitating. The tip of my nose is nipped by the wind as it passes by, just enough to warrant an occasional sniffle to keep from running.
Those days are few and far between. If a man is patient and watchful, he might catch a day or two like this each year, maybe even three. I detest any boss who makes a man work on a day like I have described. Such a travesty is more punishment than any man should endure, like working on opening day of dove season, or missing a morning in the duck blind after the first cold front of the year. These days I deem precious and with that they deserve a certain respect and reverence that far outweigh the demands of such a folly that is desk work. After all, what good is a life should it not be enjoyed on such days? These days that only come so often in a life time. Each one should be cherished, each one should be celebrated like its own deserving and warranted holiday.
But here I am, getting too far ahead of myself. I spend my time dreaming of those rare fall days but yet it is only the start of June. It will be a few more months until I see that creek and feel that breeze. Until then I will find comfort in each passing day and, who knows, maybe even a story from Macquarrie or Gene Hill will tide me over.