For a while there it seemed like it was a possibility, then not, and now it is again, perhaps, given that I can write a thesis in about six months. If I can’t, I can always graduate next summer instead of spring. But there’s a good chance this is the only full Texas summer I’ll experience, God willing.
The mantra still holds, because, friends, it’s hot here. Now, I’m being told repeatedly that it’s a cool Texas summer, and I believe it because we just finished a weekend of 85 degree highs. I cannot tell you the joy given me by an overcast Saturday morning. But I know the heat’s coming. I’ve known it since February. Just because it’s been slow doesn’t mean that I can’t see it peeking over the horizon. A few days ago, it hovered around 99 degrees, with a heat index well over 105. It’s only going to get hotter.
I hate it, I really do. I hate the heat. And I especially hate the humidity and the beads of sweat and the wall of moisture that smothers you when you walk out the door. But while being marginally grumpy about the heat to come, I’ve found out something else.
I love Texas summer.
I love the pace of this town without the hoards of undergraduates. I love how everyone walks slow, because it’s too hot to walk fast. I love how churches and coffeeshops and grocery stores shift into a lower gear, because it’s necessary and they can.
I love kayaking on the river, when the sun burns your knees and the Brazos smells weird but you see white herons and turtles so it’s okay. I love going to the zoo, watching the giraffes seek shade. And I love the sudden, furious thunderstorms that rattle your heart but don’t drop the temperature.
I love iced tea and ice cream and ice that melts so fast it was barely there. I love Sonic happy hour and margaritas by the pool. All of the afternoon pool time, which is so necessary with or without Shakespeare plays or German homework. I love spontaneous dinner or coffee or bike rides with friends, and the fireflies that come out just after dark, swimming through the warm humid air.
I love wearing hats and forgetting sunscreen (only sometimes), and I’m learning to love shorts because it’s just too damn hot to worry about the size of your thighs. Same goes for swimming suits.
Some days I miss the muted sunshine of Oregon so badly my heart aches. But a moment later there’s someone willing to go to the pool, or bike across the river, or to drink margaritas. And that, my friends, is the beauty of Texas summer.