Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Country Air

I get to spend quite a bit of time each summer away from my house and out in "the woods" which are a very nice place to visit, but where I wouldn't want to live.  For one there are many more bears that might be encountered out where Hansel and Gretel might be looking for candied houses.  And, for another, the nearest source of a jug of milk or a loaf of bread can be miles and miles away.

I tend to lump together all rural places simply as "the woods" in my brain, though the deciduous forest which for years I taught my students about is just around the corner.  I watch a movie like one of the umpteen Harry Potters and cringe when the characters leave the creature comforts of some municipality behind and venture into the forest while I fail to realize that I can do the same thing within a scooter's ride away from the comfort of the air conditioned room from which I write this.

Now and then, especially in the heat of a particularly oppressively hot summer's day, I'll ride out into "the country" to get my fill of the cool, fragrant air, and a few good views of things I can't see in my own backyard.  I put up with the trade-off of my own scooter's engine spoiling the silence while I gobble up what's to be enjoyed in sight and olfactory pleasure as I roll along through nature's bountiful sensory offerings.

How easy it is to forget the simple science behind it being refreshingly cool out in the woods when the heat in the city makes one chomp at the bit to be away from it.  I remember the heat in the ground level apartment I lived in when I first married and how even in the evening when it cooled down outside, the temperature inside never seemed to drop.  What a difference some trees and grass would have made instead of being surrounded by concrete and asphalt absorbing the day's heat and then radiating it back when the sun went down.

And, just as effortless it is to lose consciousness of the fact that only a few miles out, on one of the side roads feeding into the valley, refreshment from the city's heat can be found for the low, low price of 65 miles to the gallon.  I need to work on remembering that!

Stay cool!  And watch out for bears.

No comments: