Symphony in Canis Major

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No matter how you connect the dots, it’s still The Dog Days of Summer.

As you might already be aware, the dog days are upon us.  Do you know why we call them the Dog Days?  It is because the ancients observed that during the months of July and August, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, the dog star, Sirius rose at approximately the same time as the sun (not so anymore).  Consequently the hot sultry days which normally accompany late summer were called The Dog Days.

Dogs seem to exemplify the state of perfect repose that we humans would do well to replicate when the temperatures soar. These are the lazy days of summer.  Time for that ultimate indulgence, the nap.

Naps got a bad rap from our early childhood experience when we were forced into restless bed confinement so our mothers wouldn’t end up killing us. It was for Mom’s mental health and the preservation of the species that your games were called, always when you were winning, on account of Nap.

It was incomprehensible to me how the adults in my family could take just about any outdoor summer gathering in the most fun packed, state of the art, playground enhanced picnic area and turn it into a gigantic group nap. 


The perfect spot located, cars were unloaded, picnic baskets carried to tables set for feasting, kids released from backseat ovens where the only air conditioning was whatever flowed through the open windows when the car was in motion.  Kids, kids spread out everywhere, an ocean of nothing but kids spilled out of those backseats.  It was the height of the Baby Boom, and there was no shortage of kids to play with.  Enough kids for two complete baseball teams, including pinch hitters. Enough kids for opposing Dodge Ball lines a mile long.  Kids everywhere, and the picnic was Kid Heaven, UNTIL…..



I don’t know where they came from, I never saw them pack those things, but one by one, a plaid, a chenille, an itchy army green, carried like altar cloths to those dark, mysterious, no fun zones called shade trees, and there spread reverently initiating the unspoken, inviolable adult rite of The Nap.  Unbelievable!!!  At the absolute pinnacle of the most perfect day ever created, in the most perfect place, surrounded by every kid you’ve ever known with more to spare….time for a nap.

Fast forward…..way too fast….now we’re adults.  It’s understandable that you still harbor resentments about naps, but give it a try, like most stupid things our parents did, you might just find napping to be an enjoyable, refreshing experience. Just approach it with an open mind.  In The Dog Days of Summer you have permission. Go ahead, no one’s watching, they’re all too sleepy.

Take a siesta and let sleeping dogs lie.

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