Thursday, July 1, 2010


I have never been one to like the heat. It sags my hair, my makeup (what little I wear), my plants and my spirit. I yearn not to do anything more interesting than curl up in the dark with a DVD monotoning something soothing as I hunker down to await the arrival of Halloween, when it may once again be cooler.

I’ve been plagued with minor, irritating health issues this spring, culminating in an undiagnosed food allergy that leaves me with hives, usually occurring on my fingers, hands and arms following an unwise food choice. Hivey fingers and palms are decidedly uncool when one spends a lot of time at the keyboard, as I do for both work and pleasure. It hurts to type, to mouse-click or to hold items, including my lovely books, for any real length of time. After weeks of this I’m still struggling to make peace with the thought that I may be dealing with this for some while to come, so it’s time to stop whining and figure out alternate ways to hold books or open doors. Heat, especially the “holy crap, is it really this hot out” kind only seems to exacerbate the situation.

The cats have a wholly different outlook on the situation. Bo, being the singularly most opportunistic cat on the planet, has discovered that the ground beneath the rose bush is the wettest, coolest place in the back yard and has made it his personal property for the foreseeable future. Musette likes to crawl deeper under the bush to an area where she’s not accessible to man or beast, at least until the afternoon sun penetrates her leafy cover, driving her out to the porch where she lounges next to a rock. What attracts her to this particular rock is completely beyond me, but she rests her head against it as though it is sharing the secrets of the universe with her, bit by bit. Weebs is the only one who appears to have a lick of sense about the heat: like her hu-mom, she flops beneath the air conditioning until the afternoon sun becomes evening sun, only choosing to go outdoors when squinting is no longer required.

Darby’s obsession with having pool water splashed in face removes what little common sense his floppy-dog head holds on the best of days. He bursts forth from the screen door as though it’s his only chance to get outside of the house --- every time. He lives to hear the word “swimming”, a word that has replaced darn near every other command he only sometimes follows. The mere whisper of the promise stops him dead in his tracks, bringing him back to our side. He prances in circles, trying his level best to herd/push/maneuver us to the water’s edge to receive his liquidy reward.

Darby is the furry heart of childhood summers, when one’s focus is strictly on now. No worry about the eventual sunburn and subsequent peel, no thought of dinner being late or of appointments missed. It’s all about this minute, this trip to the cement pond, this exhausting session of run --- snap at droplets --- run to the next position --- repeat for as long as someone is willing to do the splashing. Try not to fall in and if it happens anyway, get out fast, shake out and get back to “run”.

Summer’s here and it won’t last forever, even if it feels like it could. Take it from Darby.




If you trip, get back up, shake yourself off and keep moving.

Make joyous noise in celebration of the confluence of bright sun and clear water.

Once exhausted, rest, for tomorrow the sun will be back.

Summer’s here.

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