Just a few days left of August.
August is my least favourite month. Everywhere I've ever lived for my entire life this has been the case.
For one thing, it's too long. 31 days indeed. humph. It's also the month when if there are going to be fires, they are going to be really bad fires. Fires are terrifying. August is the month when Mosquitos are most active. It's also the month that reports the most episodes of Heat stroke to no one's surprise. And because of the unrelenting heat, it's the month that we, personally, have the highest electric bill because of air conditioning.
August is the month that only Mad Dogs and Englishmen stand out in the noonday sun. Dog Day Afternoon was probably August. It's too doggone hot to spend much time outside without keeling over. And this is the month when the humidity makes me feel as if I'm trying to breathe underwater. As much as I love being outside, it is absolute torture to be stuck inside. But if I go out I feel like I'm suffocating. So naturally I go out anyway, but I'm miserable the entire time. Sweaty, hot, humid, grouchy, cranky..... Grumpgrumpgrump.
That is August to me.
Never mind that the word August means, respected and impressive. I remain unimpressed with the month of August. Now as a person's name, I'm cool with it. I have known people named August, Augustus and Augusta. All good people, classy, elegant, smart, kind people. As a month however, August stinks. And since we are still being plagued with Red Tide, this time I mean it literally. Between the temperature, the heat index and the ghastly stink of Red Tide most people spend most of their days inside right now. Heat index, yes back to that. Every day the temperature itself isn't that bad. I mean for a high summer month. 89, 90, 91. That tends to be the actual temperature range and I can deal with that. However, the heat index, which is the "feels like" temperature, jumps it to numbers like 104. I do not care for those sorts of numbers.
There are no holidays in August. In fact the most exciting thing to happen in August are the Perseids meteor showers, which are pretty darned cool and of course it's much cooler at night when they are visible. So Ok I'll give August the Perseid Meteor Showers. But that's it! That's the only thing in the Pro column so far.
Originally, well as far as historians know history, way back in 753 BC, what we now call August, our 8th month of the year, was called Sextillis because it was the 6th month of the Roman Calendar year. It wasn't until the Julian (and subsequently the Gregorian) Calendar that the name was changed to honour Augustus Caesar. Oh those wacky Romans.
The August birthstone, Peridot is a pretty stone. That light green is a soothing and lovely colour which is a surprising choice for such a hot month. Ok that's two positives for August. And Gladiolous are the birthflower. Not a huge fan of gladiolius, but it is a flower and in general I like flowers so begrudgingly I will allow that one too. That's three positives for anyone keeping count.
But it's also a stormy month. Torrential rain, thunder & lightening, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes abound in August. All bad stuff.
Sylvia Plath called August an odd uneven time. "August rain: the best of the summer gone, the and new fall not yet born."
Tove Janisson wrote, "One evening in August you have an errand outdoors and all of a sudden it's pitch-black. It's still summer, but the summer in no longer alive."
Some things that should have been in August weren't. I always imagined that the famous gunfight at the OK corral took place in August. (It actually didn't, it was October). August seems like a perfect month for the Battle of the Alamo (except it was April)
However, the Loch Ness monster's first sighting was in August of 565. Perhaps the sun had gotten to those people who reported it? In 1792 the French monarchy toppled. Scotland's famous rebel, William Wallace (think Braveheart) died a gristly death in August of 1305. Yikes!
See? Nothing auspicious happens in August. It's just a long and miserable slog from beginning to end. The positive part is that all the other 11 months of the year are fabulous. And I've always believed that to have the good you also have to experience the not so good. Balance! That's what it's about. The good is just so much better in comparison to the bad. It serves a purpose.
Sort of like slamming your hand in a door. It feels so much better when you stop.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.