We have neither the copper skies nor the azure seas. Yet we are in the doldrums. We are neither in the South Atlantic nor the Indian Ocean, we do not lie sweating on a wooden deck, nonetheless, we are in the doldrums. Humidity hangs in the air, an invisible weight that clings to our skin, that works our lungs the more to draw a proper breath, that molds our bread and leaves our paper limp and prone to tear.
We want to enjoy the summer. Yet the sun is not a friendly sun, it does not gently warm, but glaring down in ultraviolet, scorches us inside and out. We retreat into rooms darkened by shades and curtains and sit where fans create the only breeze. We have no energy for our favorite tasks, nor appetite for our favorite foods. The cats abandon their beds and nests to sprawl upon cooler surfaces, lying motionless, conserving energy by dozing in the way that cats perfected for such times. They eat sparingly and much later in the day when the sun has begun to set. They are far better equipped than humans to endure the doldrums.
For the doldrums are far more than a weather phenomenon, they are a state of mind as well as body. The tide of our energy ebbs and we find ourselves at slack water. Lassitude, lethargy, listlessness immobilize us like Sargasso weed. The cats have no appointment book, no deadlines, no to do lists. Their limited vocabulary blissfully does not include guilt, regret or obligation. They do not stagnate, they rest. They are not lethargic, they are relaxed. When the squalls break the dead calm, they remain unchanged, as serene as the gilded Buddha in the shrine.