By Jacob Hatcher
As a general rule, I would prefer cold weather over hot everyday. Mostly because of my hot nature, but also because it’s a lot easier to warm up than it is to cool off. I can always add more layers, but if you start taking too many layers off handcuffs and police cruisers get involved. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and this time of year is the exception for me. Come July I’ll cuss the heat, but for now I can’t help but get a little bit excited. I still loathe the heat, but there’s something that the heat allows that I love. Were it not for the heat, we would have no reason to sit in the shade and say, “Lord-a-mercy don’t that breeze feel good.” Had it never gotten hot, I don’t imagine anyone would have ever made ice cream. What a pitiful world that would be. When it starts to get hot, I always pull out my old crumpled up straw hat, not because I need it, but because so many of my people before me wore a crumpled up straw hat. It’s sort of like a Time Machine; in a world where modern conveniences have made it easy to forget the kind of life our southern ancestors were forced to live, a crumpled up straw hat serves as a small reminder. A reminder of folks that would have been scorched were it not for an old straw hat; a reminder of folks that didn’t have the luxury of working in comfortable conditions everyday. Under that hat the tea somehow tastes sweeter and the insects buzzing sounds more musical than nuisance. As much as I hate the heat, somehow swimming through the humidity every year just seems like the proper southern thing to do. I float on that humidity like it’s my Uncle Jack’s creek, taking me downstream where life is harder, but somehow a little less complicated. I make my way to the bank, the sun beating down on the water, and find me a tree to sit under. And Lord-a-mercy don’t that breeze feel good.