Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Blessings of Damp



I live in a swamp. In fact in the olden days before the United States of America, this part of Washington DC was called "Swamp Poodle." What a darling name, isn't it?

One thing that makes a swamp a swamp is high humidity, especially during late summer when lots of accumulated heat helps the steam to rise extra thick and soupy. On certain high humidity days, I almost expect the ground to begin boiling like it does in horror and sci fi movies, you know that cinematic slow motion big gloppy swamp boil? Yeah, like that.

It's not a comfortable time of year.

There are some benefits to all the water in the air. Thick air combs the light, creates visible sunbeams that streak through the tree branches and spill on the ground like so much liquid gold. Without humidity, there would be no crepuscular rays, a.k.a. God. You know those rays that stream out from behind a fluffy cumulus cloud when it obscures the sun?

Want a quick detox? Just go outside and walk briskly on the sunny side of the street for awhile, then go in, drink water and take a nice cool shower. It feels good, it does. You can sweat out a bad hangover in less than half an hour, they tell me, as long as you drink a lot of water afterwards. Hmmm.

I'm trying hard to come into a nice peaceful relationship with this time of year. Can you tell? Surely there must be other benefits to humidity that will help me find a more balanced way of thinking about it? Yes? No? Help?

14 comments:

Merle Sneed said...

The sweatiest I have ever been was the 4th of July on the Mall.

Cyndy said...

I love coming out of an airconditioned building and feeling that sensation of thickness in the air. If I just stand there I feel like I'm being propped up by the combination of heat and humidity. I don't like getting all sweaty when I'm wearing nice clothes, but otherwise, bring it on! Summer is definitely my favorite season.

Miranda said...

They say humidity is good for the skin......hmmmm

Love your blog. Love it.

deborah said...

it is good for the skin
people don't wrinkle as much
skin isn't dry and flakey
and it makes my hair curl like crazy

from the 5 inches of rain in one day Midwest--greetings to the Swamp Poodle

Barbara said...

The air today is heavy and oppressive. It will be an indoor day for me. God help me if the A/C goes!

IntangibleArts said...

If you insist on being so dadgummed POSITIVE about this, I cannot help!

I grew up here and yet am still a weenie this time of year. I've spent the last few weeks gazing lustfully at the calendar turned to October, and sighing pitifully...

Lynne said...

I'm afraid I can't help either. To a certain extent it does feel good to go outside—for a short time— and soak up all that humid air. However if it combines with bright sunshine I start to wilt. I am still trying to get used to the higher humidity here in the East! My skin loves it though and when I went back to CO in June everybody looked dried up to me! :)

tut-tut said...

I just remember pre-central air, when we were ALL in the same situation, swaying in the shimmering air, glistening together. No ac in the subway, either!

tut-tut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reya Mellicker said...

We had a weird hybrid of cooler and fan in my house growing up, prior to central air. The cooler part had to be filled with ice cubes. A fan at the front of the cooler blew iced air into the room.

It was mildly helpful as long as you were sitting right in front of it.

Poor intangible. It'll all be over in a few weeks. Hang in there.

Steve said...

Good for the skin. That's my vote, too!

d. chedwick said...

is swamp poodle near froggy bottom?

Moonroot said...

Swamp Poodle is a fabulous name! I think the residents of your area should reclaim it with pride.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ched you are so funny!