Well, it’s just reached 104 degrees here in Twisp. I’m sitting in my room with the curtains drawn, the window closed and the ceiling fan on, and really it’s perfectly comfortable. Which is a blessing.
I started a load of laundry at the beginning of the World Cup game, which was a bit of a mistake given how long it ran. I dashed outside barefoot to try to get things on the line before it went into overtime. The cement beneath the clothesline was excruciatingly hot, so I dashed back inside for my flip flops, but the game was starting again, so I pushed the basket under the kitchen table into the deeper shade of the house until the next break.
Fifteen minutes later, when I went out to hang a few more pieces, the ones I had hung before the OT were dry. Seriously. It’s that hot.
When I got up this morning, it was 73 degrees, so it rose 30 degrees in eight hours, and in eight more it’ll be back down somewhere in the high seventies. And so on throughout this week and maybe into early August.
This has been a little bit of an adjustment for me. Yesterday, I helped staff a table at the Twisp Market with one of our Board members to meet more of the community and share some of the beautiful work from last year’s classes. We had a canopy, but the temperature went up to 100 by late afternoon, and despite drinking water and lemonade (and later beer and then more water and tea and more water and more tea), I felt pretty ill by bedtime. We’d had a friend visiting from Minnesota, and we went out to a sweet little restaurant here in town. By the end of the meal, I felt absolutely ill and done in. My partner suggested that I had a little bit of sunstroke, and I think she might have been right.
If I could brave the descent, I would be down in the ditch cooling off. Instead, I just used the pump at the back of the house to wet my head before I sat down to write this. My hair, which you may know, reaches nearly to my waist, is now dry. The dog is snoring beneath the bed taking advantage of the cool cement floor. I can feel the sun panting against the blocked windows. I bear it no grudge.
Earlier today, as I drove back from dropping our Minnesotan back in town at his car, I was thinking about the snow-capped mountains in my view, the ones he crossed on his way here from visiting family in Seattle. There’s still some snow on the roadside at the peak he said. And yet, there’s not really enough.
We’ve turned up the heat on this watery world of ours such that our built in air-conditioning is permanently on the fritz. Driving cross-country, the trucks that move our goods from point A to point B were my main companions. What does that cost today? How much more fuel does it use than the trains that they replaced? And the cars, those all-American symbols of independence, each of us dashing around in our pods gobbling up oil and spewing out the gases that are slowly killing us.
So, yes. It’s hot. And maybe it’s hotter than it used to be or should be–whatever that means. As our climates change, we have to adapt. It’s both Darwinian and right.
Once the sun goes down, I’ll retrieve the rest of my laundry from the line. By bedtime I’ll be able to open the window and the door to let in the mountain air, that promise, that nectar that pours down nightly from the heavens. And in the golden glow of the newly waning moon, I will offer up my prayer of thanks for this life that thrives amidst the paradoxes of living.