I'm sitting in the family room, sipping tea, listening to a steady rain and blessing its Sender for the seeping, pooling way it cools the earth. The house is dark and I've left off all the lights so I can feel the rain work. My three-year-old son is running up the driveway in his underwear, puddles splashing at his knees and streams of rain wetting the curls on his head. Another day I might stop him, but today I'll welcome wet clothes and muddy feet.
Yesterday the heat index topped off at 106 degrees. I don't know for how many days the sweat has beaded above my lips and at my hairline, and run down the middle of my back, but the time has been sufficiently long to make me forget that t-shirts aren't perpetually damp and clinging and that I sometimes like to wear my hair down.
I didn't think we'd need air-conditioning in Michigan, after living in stifling St. Louis heat for six years. I also thought that experiencing and changing with the seasons was a noble goal or at least a grand idea. Two days ago I spent the better part of the day in my air-conditioned car. I called myself a wimp and a traitor, but I knew I needed to get out of the heat. I had already yelled at my kids and thrown a pile of papers on the floor and chucked a plastic cup at my kitchen counter, and used a few choice words without choosing to. I was just getting started on the "I hate everything/nobody likes me/I just want to die" stage when I realized I had to get out. So that's it. I am weak. But I believe concession is the wiser course than the one which crashes and burns.
And, today, the lovely rain. I'm looking around with eyes which seemed open before but must have been closed. I'm seeing my front garden, over-grown with weeds, my bookcases which want dusting, and I'm trying to remember where I have been these past weeks. The best that I can come up with, is that I was waiting out the heat, the way one waits out the flu or the way a woman in labor waits out the pain. Now that it is over, I can begin to move.