“It’s hot, Africa hot, Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”
That was a line from Neil Simon’s play Biloxi Blues and it always resonates in my mind whenever I think about hot weather.
It’s not as hot as Biloxi, Mississippi where Simon’s semi-autobiographical play is set during WWII but for us Islanders, it’s hot indeed.
It’s funny how weather extremes always make a place feel strange. It’s like some alien climate has invaded our space and is not settling comfortably on our shoulders.
We had that freezing spell last winter with unseasonably low temperatures. I guess it’s because things like that always remind me of other places I’ve been where that kind of weather is normal. Of course, for me, whenever it’s cold I think of the Yukon where I lived before here. To feel cold, dry weather in winter here feels strange to me because there must be some kind of temperature memory in the body. Much like muscle memory – which is when you’re learning a skill or a musical instrument – your body recalls movement patterns and responses automatically – without thinking. So, I suggest temperature memory is when you feel weather that is out of place with where you currently are, that your body feels like it should be somewhere else. It’s kind of like deja vu, except it’s weather based.
Or something. Maybe the heat’s getting to me.
I was born in a hot place – Africa, believe it or not – but I only lived there for four years before moving to Britain, Labrador, Haida Gwaii, the Yukon, Vancouver, the Yukon once more and then Vancouver Island. I never saw tropical temperatures again.
But maybe that’s why I love the heat. I love summer and I love sunshine. Now, I might be singing a different tune if we were to suddenly get 40-degree temperatures on a regular basis but for now, low 30s is nice. On a road trip holiday that took us to southern Oregon, I experienced 100-degree Fahrenheit temperatures and it was stinkin’ hot. But the body gets used to it, I guess.
I remember being at MusicFest in Courtenay a few years back when I caught a performance by Nashville-based Pete Huttlinger, a guitar player I particularly like. We were all sweltering in the Comox Valley heat – those southern climes, you know – and Huttlinger quipped, “I notice I’m the only one wearing a long-sleeved shirt.”
Temperature is relative and dependant on what you’re used to. I remember way back when I was listening to a Latin-American combo playing a lunchtime concert at SFU one overcast but mild summer day. The lead singer was shivering and complaining of the cold.
So, enjoy the sunshine everyone, we all know that it’s only here for a limited time. Drink lots of water, spend time by a lake or the ocean and don’t leave your dog in the car.