Canicula: An alternative name of the constellation Canis major; Also called the Dog Star. Growing up when people said 'Ya empezo la canicula', meaning 'The canicula has begun', you knew you had to brace yourself for the hottest of days ahead. I guess that's where we get the term 'dog days of Summer'.
As I was sitting in the living room looking out the window, I could see how stressed the plants were in the hot afternoon sun. It also took me back to days in my childhood sitting outside in my Grandmother's garden on days when even the fans did little to cool us. She would hold me in her lap and sweetly sing "barbas de oro, barbas de oro, vente vente." This was her way of praying for those sweet cooling breezes we desperately needed. It's like a little nursery rhyme which means ''golden beard, golden beard, come to us''. It evoked an image of an ancient man with a long gold beard dressed in the whitest vestment imaginable. He was the one who directed the trade winds and breezes to caress our hot weary bodies. As an added blessing he also sent the fluffiest clouds to shade us and the coolest raindrops to soothe our world.
Oh, yes, and I'll soon begin to call barbas de oro myself, as did my Grandmother and her Grandmother before her. This year's Canicula can't be over too soon for me.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~