Monday, August 18, 2008
Take a Trip, Never Leave
Saturday had the kind of spectacular weather you read about but too rarely get to see, especially in mid-summer in this area. The sky was deep blue, filled with puffy cumulus clouds, the temperature wasn’t hot. It was glorious. And I was hampered by about 10,000 interlopers invading the mountain for a music festival. But I couldn’t stay inside in weather like that. To do so would have been criminal.
So I ventured out, skirted the edge of the festival and disappeared into the woods as unobtrusively as I could, all with the beat of heavy metal music in the background. In this area, summer is most typically hot, humid and hazy. Clear, low humidity days are usually reserved for June and the autumn months. It’s very unusual to have such pleasant weather in mid-summer, and I wasn’t about to let this rare chance slip away. So out the door I went.
The first thing I noticed was how inviting the sunlight seemed as it streamed through the trees. The more typical summer haze deadens the brilliance of the sunlight somewhat, in addition to making me feel uncomfortable. Without the haze, the whole forest glowed with summer’s intense sunlight.
Sometimes for me, experiencing unusual weather is almost like visiting some other place. The light in New Hampshire is different from the light in south Texas. Here, in Pennsylvania, I’m used to the normal range of sunlight, and an event as rare as Saturday’s weather makes me feel as though I’ve traveled to a different place, with different light and different possibilities.