When Grist reporter and Pennsylvania native Eve Andrews moved to Seattle, many people in the Pacific Northwest like to talk about the summers by way of explaining why they live there. While Andrews found it lovely, it wasn’t true summer. Summer is walking outside of your house and instantly glistening. It is a dew point at 70 degrees, grass hot and lush, air so thick with humidity it almost quenches thirst. It is the sworn enemy of sleeves, bangs, and leather upholstery. In summer, one is constantly reminded, for better or for worse, that one inhabits a human body.
And the longer Andrews was deprived of that sticky experience, the more she craved it. So when she moved back to Pennsylvania after seven years, she started to wonder if humans – like animals – require the conditions of their native habitats to survive. But within a week of moving back, Andrews was in hell. Mosquitos cluttered the air space around her.