Words for early August (siriusly)

The Dog Days: the sultry part of the summer, occurring during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: from around mid July to mid August…a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, and stagnation.

Things I’m not doing much of: writing, gardening, cooking anything that requires more than five minutes prep or an oven, exercise besides walks with V or Ruby and swimming although not for that long because

Lethargy. Inactivity. Stagnation. I can find synonyms and do the mini crossword puzzle just to prove my mind isn’t complete mush but even writing this sentence – it’s like my thinking cap went through the drier and doesn’t fit anymore. Creativity that usually flows is like a trickle that forms a stagnant puddle. Stupor. languor. indolence…So many excellent words to describe my absence.

It hits every season by the end of July but like everything it’s much harsher this year. Dog days in other years were punctuated with outdoor concerts and movies, occasional beach time or cool inviting museums and theaters. Also it’s the first summer in 8 years without Elks Camp, the wonderful overnight camp V had been going to, like all its campers sponsored by a local Elks lodge to provide kids with a range of disabilities a typical joyous week of summer camp. And for me, a few days to visit my friend in Maine or at least enjoy the Jersey shore I’ve yet to see this year though it’s only an hour away.

He usually goes in August and it’s a highlight of the summer for all of us (from others I know who attend a common sentiment) which for the first time in many decades, like other overnight camps, is not in operation.

And so summer drags on, with all its humidity and inertness. Fatigue. Hebetude. (A word I just learned thanks to my friend Miriam Webster)

There’s not much to do about the dog days but try to be patient and accepting that they will last siriously longer than usual, and to envision antonyms springing forth. Vim and vigor! Vitality! Brio! It may take awhile, but eventually…

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