The Weather Stopped the Day Temperatures Turned Uterine

In college, I worked at a day care center in a toddler room. One spring day, after a late winter run of windy cold, we took the kids outside on a day completely still and perfectly warm. This little girl, two-and-a-half, climbed on top of a slide, stopped at the top and looked around, and she said, “The weather stopped.”

Us warm-blooded folk have a wide range of temperatures we can exist in. Cold-blooded reptiles have to regulate their temperatures by alternately sunning and shading themselves. Beats eating. We have a much slimmer range of temperatures we’re exactly comfortable in. Depending on how hardy our temperament, we can enjoy cool autumn, sweater weather and hot June shorts weather. July and August are more challenging. Maybe people who claim to enjoy the cold of winter really do? However you spin it, there is a temperature that feels just right.

On July 9, 2001, the weather stopped on a day temperatures were uterine. I know this because I had just finished a shift at Red Robin in Seattle and I recognized that the temperature was right in my sweet spot. I bought a notebook, there at the mall, and sat outside and wrote. I probably also had a beer. “Dave” served me. I remember because he commented about the temperature. He said, “Nice weather. I don’t blame you for sitting out here.”

After a mild winter, here in NE Ohio, we’ve had a cold spring. I still haven’t written on my porch, this year. That’s my first day of spring. When my body tells me the still air is perfectly in tune with my internal temperature, where I’m not at all chilled and not at all warm. I wouldn’t be surprised if massive endorphins are released when the temperature hits that mark. When you notice your breathing for all the right reasons. I call it the air being like a bath. You just soak in it. David Foster Wallace captured it far better in an essay, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” with a line I jotted on a piece of scrap paper: “Temperatures were uterine.”

But I like “the weather stopped” best. It’s a small window of temperature on a still day, but it also ties in with mood; if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss it, and it’s coming any day now.

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