La Canicula


                                                         My new little dog, Chica


My dad, who was Hispanic and from South Texas, called the Dog Days of summer ‘La Canicula.'  ‘Canicula’ is another name for the Dog Star, Sirius, the brightest star in the summer sky.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Dog Star rises before dawn in July and August.  My dad told me that when he was a kid in Brownsville, old folks believed it was the cumulative heat of the Dog Star and the sun that accounted for the 100 plus degree temperatures of late summer.

La Canicula was also known to be an unhealththy period, a time when surgery should be avoided. I suppose germs do thrive in the heat, making (sweaty) wounds all the more susceptible to infection.  

Here in Tennessee, we’re smack dab in the middle of the Dog Days too. Unlike South Texas, we haven’t had any 100 plus degree days yet, but afternoon temperatures have climbed well into the 90s.  It’s humid too, but in the South, we’re used to it.


As some of you know, I defied my dad's folk wisdom and had surgery last Tuesday.  It went better than the surgeon expected, not nearly as complicated or as long a procedure as anticipated.  I'm grateful for all the prayers and well wishes sent my way. 


I've made a terrific recovery and as of today, am back to taking my mid morning walks. This little poem came to me while I was walking today.  

                                                       Dog Day

                                                       I walk in shadow
                                                       I walk in light
                                                       threading my way
                                                       through flames
                                                       Katydids roar
                                                       in raucous heat
                                                       the Dog Star calls
                                                       my name
                                                       burning my
                                                       radiant face

                                                       Gravity keeps
                                                       me grounded

If you find anything you like here, please tell others about Dogwood Daughter.  I'm an indie artist with no advertising other than word of mouth from kind folks like you.  Thank you.


Be Well and Good Luck,

Martha Maria

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