It's a scorcher. Now in my beloved Kansas, we don't have a great deal of variety in August. This month promises grasses yellowed with heat and little water, inconsistent winds, and kids either wet from the pool or on their way there. Sometimes we have enough humidity to melt your socks (it's at 75% right now). The sun is blinding, the rain is short lived (we've flooded badly this year, so that's a mixed blessing.) Folks get up early in order to tend their gardens and run their errands, because by one o'clock no one wants to be out.
August is also the promise of a new year to most of the people I know. I work in the schools, and my kids attend school, so August is the beginning of the year for us. It's also a time when haying is well under way or wrapping up, and although the floods were rough on our wheat, the corn looks absolutely stunning.
My vision of summer was defined by a lifetime of Kansas, until last year, when we spent all of Jume and July in Vermont. For the first time, I understood the concept of a "summer sweater." I put on a sweatshirt to greet each morning. I wore long pants on the fourth of July! We adored every second of our time in that new and gorgeous landscape.
However, I was pretty darn grumpy by my third week back East, and I couldn't understand why, until a very nice co-worker of my husband's who was originally from Iowa said, "It's claustrophobic here, isn't it?"
OMG--that's it! Those endless hills, as beautiful as they are, block everything around you unless you're sitting on top of them. I'm used to flat. We have trees as well, but they are spread out, and you can see for miles, most of the time. I felt better when we spent time in Maine, and I could sit and look at the ocean.
My heart belongs to the plains of the Midwest. I could sit and soak up the rolling Flint Hills forever. I love the cicadas trilling outside my windows, and the fact that a full basement makes me the most popular neighbor on the block every April and May.
The world is a big place. What corner of it holds your heart, if not your hat?