They’re officially over on Monday, at least according to one calendar. Other sources will suggest that they ended this past week, while those who put together the fabled King James Version of the Bible in 1611 suggested that the forty-day period will not conclude until September 5. But of course the calendars of ancient Rome and England knew nothing at all about our climate here in Houston, where some will say that they last until at least November in this part of the world.
However you may reckon them, the fabled “Dog Days” of summer have long been a part of most people’s lives. What few folks may realize, however, is that the expression developed not so much as a comment on hot and sultry days which are “not fit for a dog” as it refers to the annual celestial event when the so-called “Dog Star” Sirius–the brightest star in the sky– rises each morning in conjunction with the sun.
That astrological phenomenon, of course, has nothing at all to actually do with our heat, nor is it the actual reason that this period of the year has the least amount of rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere. But it is enough to remind us that as God created the heavens and the earth, He did so with an intentionality that should suggest that our lives were made for seasons, too.
Or as the hymn writer of old once put it:
“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest; sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love!”
As we begin another new school year, here’s hoping that not even the dog days of summer—whenever they are finally over– will be able to drag us down.