Monday, July 12, 2010

Cabin Fever

You usually think of three day blizzards and ice storms that shut down roads and cause tree limbs to crash through power lines when you hear the phrase cabin fever. That is, if you live in northerly climes. Here in Tucson, cabin fever strikes in the first weeks of July, when the humidity rolls in and the heat hasn't broken yet from the monsoon storms. After a month of 100 degree plus temperatures, you're tired of going from your air conditioned home to your air conditioned car to get to your air conditioned office with only brief sprints in the sultry air to traverse the distances between those points.

You gaze through the windows at the mountains and the desert trails, longing to walk through them, but knowing the actuality is not as pleasant as the picture postcard images. Yard work suffers as even the early morning low temperatures hover around eighty. It will get cooler soon, you tell yourself.

You keep your eyes on the sky, looking for the building clouds that will bring rain and relief. Too often what clouds are there are only a tease. They build up. You may even hear a rumble of thunder. The news reports fires started by lightning strikes in the mountains. But there isn't any rain. The air is so dry that even if drops start to fall from those clouds, they're likely to evaporate before reaching the levels where men can feel them.

And so you wait, huddled behind walls in the machine-produced coolness, staring out longingly at the great out of doors, dreaming of the joys of winter, when you can go outside again and enjoy Arizona while the rest of the country is suffering from a cabin fever of their own.