Friday, 8th of July, 2016
I love the warmth of summer, the air is so thick it holds you. Butter sits on the kitchen bench, doing it’s best to stay solid. The coconut oil is not so strong. I chase flies out of the house with a touch of madness. We are shade seekers, water drinkers. The heat helps our bodies to do what we need to do. Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle. “Have another glass of water girls.” I say. “Let’s lay low today, it is cooler on the floor.”
The attic is a zenith of warmth. As the heat rises it gets trapped in the roof, by contrast our underground basement is cool and dark. By discovering the differences we find the best place to be. Mornings are for playing, and as the day gets hotter the girls begin to watch the clock for the pool to open. For some reason, the pool opens at the hottest part of the day. While we would like to swim in the mornings when the sun is not so fierce, the towns people don’t seem to make early morning swims a priority. We want to be sunblock free, but when the sun is at its highest, and you spend two hours in the water, the ultra violet is intense. I will be glad when I no longer have to breath in the sun tan sprays of those that don’t stop to consider. If only I could explain, “Just put a little on your hand and enjoy rubbing it on your child’s skin.” There is pleasure and reward in patience, and an art to everything. Of course, we are all different. Some people like to spray.
The air is like a blanket and even though it could be stifling, I embrace it, and snuggle up to Summer. I am not scared of sweat. If it were the middle of Winter, I would be sitting by the fire, wishing for this warm envelope. Now it is here, all around from head to toe, and I remember to be grateful. Swimming in humidity is good for the soul, it makes me feel alive.
“Have another glass of water.” I say.
We make paper fans, and pretend we are fancy ladies. There really is no pretending, we are fancy ladies. While others are working hard outdoors under the rays, making money to put food on the table, we get to sit in the shade, and drink homemade lemonade. “If people keep using those giant air conditioners, it just makes the world hotter.” I say, thinking of all of the indigenous folk, watching their water holes dry up. “A little more tolerance would go a long way for diversity right now.” I say to whoever is listening. I think of the people next door, They are not even home, but their air cooling machine is large and noisy and relentless. “It’s for the dog.” they say. I don’t bother explaining. I’ve learn’t, there is no use. I tend the flame. “Solar power would change everything.”
“We could make watermelon coolers!” I suggest to the girls on day four of the most incredible heat. Maya dashes outside to pick some mint leaves. I know the blades of grass feel crisp to her sensitive soles. Bare foot Maya on grass is a rare sight. We let our lawn turn golden, just like it is supposed to. Only watering what gets eaten by us or our animal friends.
We invite our friends over because we have the coolest house. Five enormous old trees shade our home and yard, and it really makes a difference. The green foliage does it’s job, the cycles goes round and round. Our neighbors don’t like trees over their house. They worry a limb will fall and it will destroy their roof. We don’t worry though, we like the shade and care for the trees.
The pool opens and the girls scoot down the street to be the first ones in the water. They make it a little competition between themselves and race to get their sandals off. But then suddenly the rain comes. We dash home to close the windows of the house. The rain is not coming in all of the windows so some we leave open and the house smells so good. Warm summer rain is making steam on the earth. “Look at the mist!” Maya says, pointing at the magic. Ah, breathe it in. I sense the driplets and droplets forming little rivulets. My body is the planet, and yes, it needs these creeks in the cracks. These sweaty streams that pool in the deeps. I wonder about the people not getting what they need. The irony of comfort. What happens when condensation and evaporation do not exist? Can we please feel them? “But it is our right to be cool and comfortable in our homes.” They all cry. “Would we all die if we went without?” Some question. “Oh, no, our lives would just function differently. Imagine, it is beautiful.” I see, and say. “You must understand the water cycle. Did they teach you about it in school?” I wonder.
“Let’s do some lazy stretches.” I suggest to the girls. Warmth makes our bodies pliable and I inspire the children to extend. “You can do it!” I encourage, smiling inwardly, knowing they are building up their tolerance to discomfort. “Breathe, breathe, breathe.” I chant on repeat. For them and me.
Cool air breezes in the window to finds us. In unison we inhale. A smile spreads across my face, and I feel the love. Oh Summer, you really know how to make us let go and feel alive.
Thank you for reading Magnesium Blue