Despite keeping ties to New England over the years, I think I’d forgotten just how beautiful the summers here are. I’ve been double- checking with friends over the last week, just to reassure Sam (and myself) that it really is going to keep being this good. Folks who’ve grown up here and stayed tend to meet these questions with a sort of bemused weirdness, referring to 90 degreesF as “sweltering” or as a”heat wave” with no sense of irony or sarcasm, and seem a little freaked out by the enthusiasm with which I greet that prospect.
A 90- degree heat wave, y’all. I remember this. Holy hand grenades of Antioch, a 90- degree heat wave. MY BODY IS READY.
My one major complaint about Baltimore- or Maryland, really- was the climate. Move this entire state 300 miles north, I’d tell my family, and I’d be perfectly happy here. Or- just cool it off 15- 20 degrees, really, that’s all I actually need. Although there were some good ones, those summers tended to be really rough on me- humid, at times brutally hot, just altogether no good. Loving a place that isn’t so great for you sucks. Luckily, it’s close enough to visit on the reg and they have scads of air conditioning- but still, you know what I mean.
So I’ve been trying to wallow in summer a little, whenever I can; taking out some of my free- floating anxiety on some old, dead brush in one of the flower beds and clearing out. I’ve planted lavender, rosemary, thyme, and I found an enormous dill plant in that mess, so, lucky me, now I have two dill plants, I suppose. Four scotch bonnets went in as well, along with some heirloom tomatoes- nothing serious, just a little something to nibble on. There’s sage, too, that came with the house- that feels like a bit of luck! And I *think* there might be oregano poking out by the corner, but Hugo peed on that, so that’s not for people anymore. (#ohHugodog, indeed.)
Things aren’t easy right now, for personal reasons as well as— well, the world, really; we have our private griefs, and we are being careful with one another. But we have our family, our friends, our long rambles, the dogs, art, food. Those things, they help so much, and we are so grateful for them, and for one another.