Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dog days

Well, it's now officially HOT in So. Calif. The enervating kind of hot. Plus I think I have a bit of a sore throat/sinus thing that's zapping more energy. Mainly, I've been regrouping after the reunion. Feeling the (comparative) weightlessness of the reunion being in the past—although there are still details I need to take care of. Playing over the days and events in my mind. Remembering things and stories and people and songs I hadn't thought of in 25 to 30 years. Wondering how to integrate it all into my present life. Catching up on a whole lot of alone time after days of intense interaction with a lot of people. Coming back to the rest of life with its challenges and decisions and possibilities.

P. S. Knowing the phrase but not knowing its origin, I did a Google search for "Dog Days" and found the following from the Columbia Encyclopedia at Fact Monster:
Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.

In the latitude of the Mediterranean region this period coincided with hot days that were plagued with disease and discomfort.

The time of conjunction varies with difference in latitude, and because of the precession of the equinoxes it changes gradually over long periods in all latitudes.
[Edit: definition of "precession of the equinoxes" from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th ed.:
a slow westward motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic caused by the action of sun and moon upon the protuberant matter about the earth's equator
I think I need to study some astronomy.]

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