I am sitting in the sun enjoying the afternoon sun with a glass of good German Riesling wine and a few potato chips. Something about the heat sparked a thought: summer warmth is different that that enjoyed on beach, after one has escaped on an airplane to a tropical island. Summer sun is expected, almost taken for granted. In winter, any sunshine is welcome, but warmth is especially appreciated.
This year, we have been happy for any sunshine or warmth after the equinox. March was warmer than June. We have more from our solar panels in April than we did in June. Planting of flowers had to wait until late May and early June. Trees blossomed early and they suffered from chills.
As I sit in the sun, I think of the warmth I’ll enjoy in January...on the Maldives. For now, I’m happy for every sunny day delivered by the North Atlantic Oscillation.
I may have mentioned that I am in Florida (two more weeks to endure).
This state forces one to spend time doing things not required in more temperate (ie. civilized) climates. At home, I would never even think of applying sunscreen, after sun gunk, and insect repellant. My children threaten to exile me to retirement confinement here someday, but I have discovered one more reason to resist offspring devotion.
Everyone knows the health reasons behind the need to get enough vitamin D for the sun (at least those that have seen Dr. Oz on Oprah). But, what is enough? Humans are not supplied with a gauge: only a red line in the form of red skin. Pain tells you too late when it is too much. Dr. Oz did not mention any benefit to tanned skin.
In places like Florida, I always marvel at people that can spend hours lying in the sun to tan their skin, rotating like a wild boar on a spit at regular intervals. I would be bored to death before I burned to a crisp. During beach vacations, we always sit in the shade of a tree or umbrella, with occasional forays into the water. That provides enough vitamin D and enough color, without any adverse side effects. I find that it is much easier, and less painful, to read and observe human folly from the sideline…
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.