Monday, June 30, 2014

The Heat is On!

The Blessed Event has arrived! Summer has finally swaggered into town! A week near 90 degrees is ahead with all the drama and delight of a real summer in our deciduous rainforest that is Washington County, New York! Days of sweat, work, haying, chores, and exhaustion are ahead—and I know that can be trying on the body—but in all honesty this body needs to be tried. I welcome the humidity and heat, the sweat and chaff, the weight loss, and all the glory that comes with days like this. Because as hot and unpleasant as it will be - I refuse to think of this weather as anything but a delight. Because with this humble heatwave comes fireflies and thunderstorms, mossy rocks in slick streams, canopies of oaks and locusts alive with all the life winter kept fallow. There are songbirds and fawns in the thick. My fishing gear and chair is waiting for me at my pond, ready at a moment's notice. The hammock is hung under the King Maple right outside the farmhouse for swaying by torchlight. This is what summer is all about!

I get excited. I really do. I love this weather. I love humidity and sweat and the wonderful discomfort of heat, and I love them for the same reasons I love this farm. I love them because the work of getting through it can be hard on body and mind—but the rewards far outweigh being uncomfortable.

I love summer. I missed her so much. I feel like a free woman. Anyone out there complaining about the heat didn't spend a winter alone in a farmhouse with a single, hungry, wood stove. I don't care for this attitiude we have in modern society where being uncomfortable is equated to suffering. Being uncomfortable is great because it pushes you to seek out greater comforts (i.e. cold rivers and cold beer), solve problems, and appreciate the simple blessing of warm light.

My cooling units here are fans, mint soap and cold showers, and the Battenkill River. I live just a few miles from two wonderful swimming holes in clean river. Being in the 'kill changes the entire world when you dive in it. It could be 90 degrees with 120% humidity and eggs could be frying on sidewalks but you jump in that river and sit wet and dripping on cold stones and suddenly nature herself has turned down the volume. You sit there grinning and can't remember life being anything but pleasant.

Winter was so long, and so cold. But I am so grateful I don't have to tend temperatures via splitting firewood or defrost water troughs. I don't have to worry about walking outdoors and breaking my ankle. I don't have to do anything but wake up, pray, eat breakfast, feed my critters, work inside by my old Westing House fan from the forties (Best fan I ever owned) and sip cold juicy mate´....

Well, most days. Today I am loading my friend Patty's Barn with a couple hundred square bales. I will be a disgusting mess afterwards, probably 7 pounds thinner from sweat and effort alone, but after all that we are jumping in the lake or river in the sly decadence of a week day. Wednesday brings us serious storms to cool us off, and I look forward to them too. I am as excited as a little girl before her first dance recital. I know this routine. I prepared for it for months. I am ready.


Blogger Erik said...

Allow me to demonstrate my best jealous face.

June 30, 2014 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger hart said...

I have one of those Westinghouse fans, black, rattley cage. Mine has GSA stenciled on it, Goverment Services Admin. maybe. I got it at a Goodwill about 35 years ago. It used to have a sticker that said the warranty expires in 1954, still spinning.--hart

June 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Nancy po said...

I must say I personally do prefer a drier heat. Although there's tradeoffs to that too....

June 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I get so irritated by people complaining about the weather. It's never a surprise; winter is cold and summer is hot. That's how they work. Ugh.

But, I do not envy you your bitter winters. And you do not envy me my sweltering summers, I bet. We each find our happy homes and settle in for the long haul.

Good fishing to you!

June 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger sandalfoot said...

I once walked into out local Post Office, taking shelter from a deluge of rain. I made a comment on the horrible weather....heard by the minister from our local church, the only person there other than the clerk. He gazed toward me and said "This is the day the Lord hath made. Rejoice and be glad in it." I will forever think of those words. Rain or shine, hot or cold, humid or dry. Indeed! Rejoice! Thank goodness for weather!

June 30, 2014 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Nancy - I like the dry heat too. I live in the Midwest, but have been out west several times, and I much prefer the dry heat to the humidity.

June 30, 2014 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

We're having too much of that heat you love down here in FL. 97-98 all week. Cools down to 80ish at night. Bleah! You can have my share of warm.

June 30, 2014 at 8:16 PM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

I just read your article in Taproot and loved it. The message is familiar, but you always put a slightly different spin on it. I like the idea of surrounding yourself with the light. And there are a couple turns of phrase that are sure to make their way onto my quote wall. Great work

June 30, 2014 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger aart said...

Great write up! I agree that our angst at the weather and it's discomforts is silly, and yes I do grouse about it at times, but overall I take comfort in the power of Mother Nature.

I first really experienced the joys of a rainstorm in the woods with rivers and streams whilst living in rural Ulster County NY during my teen summers. I had always pined for Mother Nature in suburbia and there she melded forever with my soul. It was an epiphany that stays with me still. Every time we have a good hard rain here, I still viscerally experience that 1 mile walk to highway 32a in the rain to hitchhike to my job 20 miles away.

July 1, 2014 at 6:29 AM  
OpenID said...

After milking a goat in negative twenty six degrees each day, bring on the heat! Summer is one of the nicest times on a farmstead. Loving your new book by the way!

July 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Jen's Farmily said...

I keep reminding myself of the horrible cold winter we just got through and how thankful I am that no matter how hot it is, I know there's no ice on the roads! We've been in the 90s for the past week or so but next week is a break in the mid-80s!

July 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

Jenna - how is Gibson?

July 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Amy Lou said...

Beautiful words as always. Thank you again for the perspective.

July 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

Saw my first fireflies last night and thought of you

July 2, 2014 at 9:56 PM  

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