Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Days are Here Again

Contrary to all my expectations, the weather forecast for this week looks relatively promising. No imminent downpours, pleasant temperature and a high probability of some sunshine.
Immediately I feel optimistic, being a light and warmth-loving creature (photophilous? thermophilous?). The planning centre of my brain springs into action: long walks across the grassy chalk uplands; grasshopper spotting in the poppy-spattered hay-fields; picnics in the abbey ruins; lounging under dappled willow near the glassy river.
Of course none of this actually happens. The dog throws up in the car; wasp-stings; braying adults and screaming toddlers; someone falls in and wants to go home. But this is not the point. It's the whole mindset that accompanies the prospect and arrival of real summer weather that I relish, the clarity of light and colour, the feeling of well-being and calm. I dislike being penned in, oppressed, restricted in my movements either mentally or physically. But in reality, I am not prevented from doing things at all - it's all in my mind. Thus I have to admit that, like the grasshopper who springs into chirping action on a hot summer day, I am (psychologically at least) a slave to the sunlight.

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