The Dog Days of summer are upon us. That’s the term often used for mid-summer, characterized by hot, sultry weather and a corresponding waning in ambition. The term is commonly used to mean a period of inactivity. Everything’s slow. Many customers and clients take time off to reacquaint themselves with their kids, their boats, the joys of travel and getting out of the house, not redecorating it.
Actually, the Dog Days get their name from the stars. From early
July to early September, the constellation Canis Majoris rises to
prominence (hint: it rises during the daytime, so don’t look
for it at night until February). Its featured attraction is Sirius,
the Dog Star.
Lately, it seems as if our lives must be influenced by the stars—and
a dark star, at that. You can’t watch the news or open a newspaper
any more without seeing reports of more mega-bankruptcies as the
result of deceptive accounting. The anger, frustration and uncertainty
resulting from these acts are having a major impact on all business.
This frame of mind threatens to drag down our whole economy, and
some say it will do much worse. One look at the stock market or
a glance at quarterly reports from our leading corporations would
seem to verify these dire predictions. And all this is happening
at a time when our country was pulling out of the recession that
began almost immediately following September 11.
The good news—and, OK, this might seem like a bit of a stretch—is
that like so many other things, business is cyclical. There will
be a turnaround. Those of dogged determination will see it through.
Those who are in it for the quick gain might experience a bit of
a shakeout, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
You see, there’s another perspective to this whole matter.
If we are ruled by the stars, we couldn’t have picked a better
one. Sirius, it turns out, is not at all a dark star. In fact, it
is the brightest star seen from Earth. In reality, it is 20 times
brighter and twice as massive as our Sun. It’s just so far
away it appears to be a dot in the sky.
Someday, the summer of 2002 will be far away, and we will have moved
on to other pressing concerns. There is a season for all things.