People have said rude things about the heat, as if it were not the rarest and most beautiful, and some have gone so far as to complain because there may not be any water in the faucets, or other go on the air conditioners may buzz off in a general brownout.
You would think that with so many back-to-the-natural-environment people loose in the capital that there would be general rejoicing. We may, for a chance, be able to recapture a true Washington summer such as our Founding Fathers knew, when in their great wisdom they set the seat of government in a place where no cold winds take the joy out of July picnics.
As for water, and such trifling mishaps as burning up the water pumps, it was not very good water, to begin pumped over of a polluted river (which it was, of course) and many nature lovers never could abide the chlorine taste, knowing how many natural germs that chemical had slaughtered.
Must yets agree that dogs should not be bathed too often, and while there is a general feeling that people need a bath every few days or so - well, maybe that is true, but on the other hand a bath will not make a silk purse of a sow's ear. It's not as if we are losing all that much.
Ordinary citizens as distincet from suspect commercial agitators, will universally welcome the chance of savor the distinctiveness of summer without the usual vuglar veil of man-made devices like faucets.
In the days of Jefferson, Marshall and Clay (great lovers of the town when there were no jets, drip-drys or lawn mowers powered by dynamos at a peaks of passion) the pace of this city slowed in June, and nobody was expected to make sense at a 9 a.m. policy meeting either in government or in business. And yet those were not the worst days of the town's history, were they, before anyone thought of air-conditioning a room so cold there could be fires in the fireplaces in July.
There is something, many agree, in not getting fancier than human condition can manager. All this running water, and air-conditioning has given people the idea they are efficient merely because they are not lying around on the floor with cold towels on them.
But in the genuine Washington summer, devoid of gadgets and frills, two wonderful things happen.
One learns to cope. One overcomes. One is pleased to survive.
It is an accomplishment, not a pre condition.
If, on the other hand, one is not all that bright eyed and up-and attem he needs not explain why he is lazy and good for nothing, since that is the general condition of all.
The ants, so often commended to our attention for indefatigable labors, are wise in the summer. Anyone who has watched them has noticed they do not work as hard as commonly supposed, and spend enormous amounts of time sitting around. The asps except when overeome by sex (and the summer is regreattably stimulating to them) spend hours sitting quietly on fence rails waiting for some energetic human to brush against them. The better class of dog - the boblest and most faithful one - dangle over wood steps with their tails and tongues at half-mast, waiting for a breeze with perfect patience. They can sit for days.
The prudent people, who were never deceived into thinking anything complicated was likely to work for very long in this capital built oisterns so that when things got really bad, and the government forgot to tell the failure was a bunket could be dipped to slop on the hound, and a pail or two could be spared for camel lias if they started to really holler.
As for usual vailed threat of a power shortage well, what else is new Even in summers with plenty of electrical current, appliances commonly failed on the hottest days anyway.
Southerns have always feared cold molecules from airconditioners would weaken the gizzard and if the Lord ever meant for us to have airconditioners, then why did He give us electric fans? The logic is flawless and a fan makes sweat feel good, whereas a blast of cold air produces merely clamminess.
Cotton and seersuckers are the only decent things to put on the body in the summer, and in a real honest summer everyone will again be led to that truth.
In many ways, and on all horizons, the sensible citizen sees cause for rejoicing. They dreamed of melons the Israeliters did in the desert and that is the proper dream vituous - no the artificial panic of getting to the office on time.
It will rain when it rains, a wise man once said. What's all the big rush about? The sun is hot, but then no sensible person wants it to start cooling itself off. If it takes a bit longer to do things, at least many dubious projects will never be accomplished and that is a gain.
The Finns who are hardy, believe in saunas to sweat out poisons and ill vapors from the body.
Happy we who do not have to pay for it even.
We will enter the winter (always the most dangerous time of the year to get through) so much the stronger for being well boiled out all summer, and not overly bathed or suddenly chilled.
If the freezers all go off, we will see how much better fresh cucumbers are than frozen strawberries. Ne delights await on all sides. It is going to be very wonderful. Maybe the lawn mowers won't be able to run. The blinds can go down in houses against the heat and the rugs come up and things will smell right for a change. Soaking your feet in a cistern is better than running for the N2 bus.It's as simple as that. Nobody has anything to fear, nothing to lose except a lot of running around for nothing. Heat waves and droughts are nature's little message not to get in too big a flap about being on time or improving the mind, orgetting in shape or stuff like that. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption; Picture, [WORDS ILLEGIBLE], by Ken Feil- The Washington PostThe Washington Post