Last year, at about this time, when I was telling my friends and family that I was planning on moving to North Carolina, the most common retort was, “The summers there are stifling. Humid, miserable. Why would you want to move there?” Funny. Summer here, now that we’re in the throes of it, is turning out to be my favorite NC season. I say that with perfect legitimacy, since I’ve been here for a complete fall, winter, and spring. It is hot, but not stifling, and certainly not as hot as California—well, not as hot as Sonora, my hometown. And the humidity? Not bad at all. I do need more “frizz serum” for my curly hair, but after spending a summer in Costa Rica, this place is not that humid. I like the sultriness, the warm nights, and best of all, the lightning storms. Almost daily, late afternoon, the skies darken, thunder rumbles, and the skies let forth a deluge of Biblical proportions—but only briefly, typically. The warm air remains, resulting in steamy streets, dripping leaves that dry suddenly, and the most beautiful display of clouds as they travel onward. The weather here is dynamic.
This may sound odd, or, well, gross, but I love how much I sweat during my runs. I’ll go out for an evening run and return home completely drenched—like, wringing out my shorts drenched. But it’s cleansing, sort of like sitting in a sauna for twenty minutes. I feel cleaner, released. The long trail runs are the best. C and I are training for a trail marathon, so we increase our mileage every weekend. Three hours on those trails absolutely defeats me, but I mean that in the most positive sense. I hit the trails in planning mode: How C and I are going to coordinate picking up my latest purchase off of Craigslist, or figuring out my next house project, but after zigzagging through the trails, I forget it all, sweat profusely, and just run. Cicadas hum in the trees, the nearby lake swirls with colorful birds and insects, and I feel so good.
Best of all, these southerners know how to make good iced tea, though I take mine “unsweet.”