I’ve lost track of how many days the temperature has been over 90. It’s been at or closer to 100 (or over that) for a week now? I think. (When I was a kid growing up in Seattle’s marine climate, an 85 degree day was a sweltering anomaly.) The other night, it was 89 at 10:00 pm. We are getting a break today; according to my weather app, it will only reach 89.
Animals that usually keep themselves hidden during the day have been out, searching for a cool spot or some water. Yesterday we watched a squirrel dig into ground I’d watered in the morning, and then lie in it, limbs stretched. This morning, tiny birds are landing on the branches of the forsythia outside my window to drink drops from the sprinkler. The sun feels predatory.
We are so fortunate to have AC and secure housing. As we were driving downtown yesterday, I saw a man fall over on the sidewalk. He landed and didn’t move. It was a quiet street, and no one else was around. We pulled over to check on him, and he was unable to get up. He was very large, and he looked so hot. He wanted us to help him up, but we knew we couldn’t lift him and were afraid of hurting him more. I felt so small and inept. We called for assistance, and–remarkably, as getting a response from 911 is not what it once was–an aid car was there within 10 minutes. I can’t stop thinking about what might have happened if we hadn’t seen him fall. How many people stretched out on the sidewalk have I passed by, assuming they are sleeping? Because there are so damn many of them now.
In our yard, flowers are still blooming. The lilies left to us by earlier owners are taller than we are. Near the blueberry bushes (another gift), we found a gathering of pinecones one morning last week. There are no pine trees anywhere near the blueberries. Why were they there? We don’t know, just as we don’t know why we seem to have a rabbit living with us now. We see it every day. Rabbits are only supposed to be out at dusk and dawn, but this one eats clover from the front yard at all times of day. We don’t know where the squirrels have gone. The one resting in the cool shallow of earth is the first one we’ve seen in the yard in a long time.
Everything is the same, and it isn’t. We’ve been passing the days more than living them, sheltering inside from the elements as we do in the depths of winter. I keep saying that the heat is getting to me, but I know it’s more than hot air and relentless sun.
(Don’t worry if I don’t post for the next week or two. We have time with extended family coming up. We’re all OK.)