But Baby It's Hot Outside--Reb MacRath


'April is the cruellest month," T, S. Eliot lied in The Waste Land. An American in London, he'd never been to Tucson in the blazing month of June. If he had, he'd have been less poetic and howled with his brain frying. The average June temperature--dry heat, as they like to say--is about 100 degrees, with highs of 110 or higher.. 

Yes, we have desert rats riding their bikes without t-shirts or caps. Then again, in Alaska some like to jog or skinny dip when the temp is minus 80 degrees F. For the most part many on both coasts make what peace they can with the weather.

Having spent half my life in heavily snowbound places, I know what it's like to hibernate for 4-5 months a year. But I had trouble adjusting to the desert's stifling heat. At first, I resented my staying indoors, dehydrated and exhausted. Even with air conditioning and an overhead fan, the writer in me withered. From mid-May to mid-September, I lost the city that I'd come to love. And I felt imprisoned in the lovely studio apartment I rent for half what I paid in Seattle.

But this June became the coolest month with a shift in my perspective. What if I embraced the scorching quadrimester as a blessing instead of a hardship or curse? What if this four-month roast-athon became the center of each year's creative cycle?

I had the assets already to make this plan go: a new laptop, Microsoft Office, a WIP more than half-written, air conditioning, home Wi-Fi, and new weekly meal kit delivery. What if I added an early morning walk when the temperature is bearable and summer instead of spring cleaning? What if I used my time as a recluse to grow on social media? And what if I added a train trip at the start of every fall?

There's a word for what I'm doing: aestivation, the opposite of hibernation.

As snowbirds flock to Tucson to escape the snow each year, this sunbird will flock to his air-conditioned studio to chill and enjoy a long date with the Muse.

2, 4, 6, 8,

Let's beat the heat and aestivate!

This is my report.


Welcome to MacRathWorld, if you like premium blends of mystery, action, and suspense. From Caesar's Rome to Seattle today, the twists fly at the speed of night. If you're unfamiliar with my work, I recommend starting with the new Seattle BOP mysteries. Here's the link to my AuthorPage on Amazon for a detailed look at the variety of 'rides' in my amusement park.



Peter Leyland said…
'Aestivation', what an interesting word Reb. June you describe as your cruelest month when temperatures soar. Our June this year has been a mixture of of pretty cold (9.5 tog duvet) to baking temperatures with just a single sheet, and of course In the UK we have no air conditioning!! unless you're in an expensive hotel. I think out of the options you present I would prefer your Seattle weather, much like our own was in the 1950s. Now of course even that snug joy is defeated by climate change and we tend to have a winter/spring of very wet weather. Flood defences are advisable rather than warmer sleeping bags. I don't think I'd enjoy your Tucson heat either. I'd always be concerned about the air-conditioning breaking down...

Your aestivation plan sounds excellent and I hope you're able to employ it during your recovery from the recent operation which I picked up reference to on Facebook. Get well soon.

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