Not only is it the longest day, but it is also the hottest day. And there was I, thinking how nice it would be to move to somewhere cooler than Australia! Ha! We are currently in the middle of a canicule (heatwave) and have had what seems like weeks and weeks of this heat. Most of the country is on orange alert due to the heat. Even inside the house, where the thick stone walls usually keep it cool, it is hitting 30c. Outside it’s just too much and I confess to hiding inside…well, wouldn’t you with this temperature?
There is a strange sort of feeling in the air. Everything feels as if it’s come to stop and is on hold, a preganant pause, waiting for something to happen. I don’t know if it’s the heat, or if we are just hoping it will cool down and rain (bliss). The days have a silence about them broken only by the ever present buzzing and humming of insects, a rustle in the shrubs as a lizard dashes after a tasty treat, and every now and again, the call of the swallows on their constant quest for airborne food. The village has fallen into a trance, doors firmly shut and shutters half closed like sleepy eyelids. A semi-permanent siesta. The sun is a great tranquilizer.
The best time is early morning or late evening when the air clears a little and sometimes a light breeze sets up, too weak to cool, but I feel as if I can drink in the vague movement of air. On the air, smells of newly harvested wheat and hay mingle with the earthy parched soil and the occasional perfume of some unseen flower. The cycle of life is determined by the seasons in this place, and the long days allow harvesting late into the evening. It doesn’t truly get dark until almost 11pm. We are at the turning point of summer with a long, slow shortening of days. But it’s far too hot to even consider that right now.