Saturday, July 02, 2005

The weather

It's such a banal topic, the weather. It's what you talk about when you have nothing else to say. Or when you want to avoid any semblance of real conversation, intimacy. Yet weather is integral to our lives. Weather fills me with joy. Melancholy. Lightness of being. Weather kills people, wrecks entire nations, blights crops, kisses small children on the chubby cheek.

So I'm not going to apologize one bit for talking about the weather today. My god, it is absolutely beautiful today. Perfect day. The sky is full blue, a deep bowl of cobalt glass. A few wispy clouds float by, serving only to emphasize the azure ceiling. And it is cool. There is a palpable sigh of relief in the air, a collective release of the entire Midwest, that it is no longer 90 degrees.

I've been sitting outside this afternoon, reading Kathy Reich's newest, Cross Bones. My fingers are just the least bit chilled. If my husband were here, he'd rejoice in my slapping them across the back of his neck. He loves a cool touch. There's a soft breeze, tickling the cottonwood leaves, causing a small rustle amidst the constant chirp of the cardinal mama in my yard. I can almost forget I live one block from a firehouse, with the incessant sirens that blare at all hours of the day and night . . . .

Schafer the dog is lying next to me, looking cat-like in his phoenixness. His eyes are barely open, his silky brown and black fur reflects the sunlight. He looks deeply content. Or as content as he can be without a ball in his mouth.

I eavesdrop on my neighbors. My north neighbors toss conversation about the Wimbledon women's final. My south neighbors talk about their afternoon activities. The never-ending watering continues on both sides. I'll join them shortly, as we battle the drought, trying to keep our plants alive.

Further down the block, children call and cry and laugh and shriek at one another. Little Jonathan (whose sobriquet derives from my son being older and bigger but is now inaccurate as he's quite a big guy, himself) is riding his bike in the alley, as he's done ever since he was little Jonathan. He looks pleased.

Cars pass out front. But I imagine that they are slower than usual, and fewer. I imagine that it is a summer afternoon and that most of the world is sitting in their back 40 (be that inches, feet, yards, or acres), breathing in the sunshine and fresh air. I wish it were so. :-)

Until tomorrow,


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