Dienstag, 21. August 2012

"Hot town, summer in the city..."

Remember that song by The Lovin' Spoonful? Released by Kama Sutra Records in 1967 (and the single looked groovy, too). Most people nowadays will react to this song by thinking of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard 3... while actually, this is music from the year when I was born...

And last Sunday, the weather over here was performing a show worthy of this song as its soundtrack. Forecasts were telling us of that day being most likely the hottest of the year so far and the Saturday already was very warm, with temperatures around 30°C (86F), and now we were facing body temperature levels in the shade...

The best strategy for such weather would be to stay as motionless as possible, make sure to drink enough and have some cold water nearby to shower or dip into. After having a Nuddhist breakfast before work on Saturday morning, I decided to spend more quality time of that sort on this hot day to come. I was prepared by taking some fruit - grapes and apricots - sandwiches, a few liters of chilled fruit tea, a little something to read and sunscreen and went to my favourite park, finding me a spot to sit, where the late morning sun was filtered through leaves overhead.

Just the right spot to spread a blanket and have a nice summer picnic

My toes on dewy grass, meeting a buttercup

Fresh fruit...

...and some food for thought and spirit, too.
While soaking up the sun, I gazed around the park, taking in the mood, and some nice positive energy, too, since I had chosen a place in view of the three alders, which I have found to be a gathering spot of spiritual power, as the trio of trees with their different ages look like representations of the Maiden, Mother and Crone, the threefold Goddess Herself.

Soaking up the sun...

...taking in the mood...

...and facing the threefold Goddess alders trio.

Since the temperatures were already near 30°C (86F) around 11 am, I was quite happy to have found the place to sit, take off my clothes and let my body perform its natural function of cooling via the skin. Of course, I had planned it to be a Nuddhist picnic, and so it felt just wonderful to apply sunscreen and feel a warm breeze wafting over me, as I took my trademark sitting living God position, closed my eyes and unfocused on the beauty around me to focus on the beauty coming from within.

"I have the body of a God!"
As the time passed, and I got a little hungry, I had my brunch, and when eating grapes and the apricots, I took less of the sitting Ganesha position and more of a posture reminescent of classic Roman decadence...

"When in Rome..."

After spending about four hours being as motionless as possible and having soaked up lots of sun and nice energy, I thought it would be nice to conclude this hot and sunny afternoon with another piece of decadence, by having an ice cream and a cold drink in a café in town. So, I went to the bus stop at the exit of the park - which was in the shade, fortunately, since temperatures had reached body temperature levels, as forecast (37°C/99F in the shade and more in the sun). Walking there, I put on my sarong, leaving my belly bare and put my t-shirt back on, just as I was about to get out to the bus stop. Hadn't it been for social taboos, I would have preferred staying nude. When walking barefoot around town, I noticed that my bare soles were indeed fit for summer, as the layer of living leather plus the dirt collected over the day provided a nice protective layer against the heat I felt when walking on sunlit parts of the paved sidewalks. Nevertheless, when arriving at the central station bus stop and making my way through the mall to get to my favourite Italian ice cream parlor/café, I greatly enjoyed the feeling of the considerably cooler tiled floor indoors.

Finding a nice table in the shade at the outdoor seating area of the café, I ordered something befitting the summerly weather: an ice cream cup "Hawai'i" with pineapple syrup as well as chunks of fresh pineapple and to quench my thirst, a large glass of apple spritzer with it.

After spending this lazy afternoon, I went back home, taking the subway (really delightful: the tiled floor at the platform, even cooler than inside the mall!). And since both the subway, as well as the bus I took into town had no A/C, I was rather glad that I decided not to go to the street painters and art festival in Geldern, near the German-Dutch border. Getting there would have required a two-hour ride by pubic transport (that's four hours there and back) and as I've heard on the evening news later on, lots of trains had problems staying cool in the heat. Going to a lake or other swimming spot would have been a very crowdy experience, too, so I think I found a very good solution to dealing with the hottest day of the year.

Now, temperatures are predicted to decrease, with thunderstorms marking an end of the extensive heat, making place for for moderate 25°C/77F... which is quite enough for my taste.

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