Thursday, September 2, 2010
The past two days and nights have been exceedingly hot and humid. My tomatoes in the garden love it. All the sun people I know, love it. Last night there was no wind, not even an occasional, timid little puff of it. We have one fan, which sits downstairs during the day, and is dragged back upstairs at night. Even when it is blowing directly on you, it still feels like you're sleeping inside an oven. We didn't invest in an air conditioner because summer is short here and out of the whole summer, these sweltering, steamy days are relatively few.
What's most bothersome about continuing high heat and humidity is that it depletes every last ounce of one's energy. I turn into a complete vegetable. Or so it seems. Only in mid-October, when the first chilling winds arrive, does the mind come completely alive again. Summer is usually my least productive time; I'd just rather read or swim or watch movies. For most people here the arrival of Fall means Winter's coming soon, and they groan. I'm among the one percent who jump up and down shouting "Yay!!!" at the first hint of a snowflake.
But that's not for some time yet. The heat wave's debilitation's rendered the mind complete mush today, and to prove it, here's a little poem I just wrote on this particular season (somewhat biased; were it 10 degrees cooler, it would no longer be relevant), (with apologies to Wallace Stevens):
One must have a mind of summer
To withstand the heat and the burn
Of the sun's brutal spread
And have loved warmth a long time
To regard the asphalt steaming and
The ice’s instant melt in the bag
In the August sun, and not to think
Of any misery in the lack of wind
Or sweat-soaked hair
Which is the blast of Sun’s fire
Burning the brain
to complete inertia.
For the sunbather, who bakes in the sand,
asleep to himself, yet sensing
Everything that is there and the Otherness that