I am blissfully unaware of time in the summer of 2017. Though I live in Mississippi, and my 100 year old cabin lacks central air and heat the weather has never been more pleasant. I’ve walked barefoot between the corn rows of our field with the mud boiling between my toes and a cool breeze on my neck. I have worn overalls and questioned age. Oh, I am so blissfully unaware.
And I have made numerous comments—daily at most—about this disturbing shift. For the past two years, I’ve spent summer in bed with the door closed, AC unit blasting and Netflix on tiresome repeat. Heaven-forbid the need to go potty because the heat and humidity loom like a beast, tempting me to just squeeze my legs together and hold it. This is every summer, except this one.
It is July 15th, around the time when the heat wave breaks record again and we reach the apex of misery, but not today. There’s a hovering thunderstorm intruding on the morning hours. The breeze is cool. I’ve been wearing sweat shirts at night while sitting on my cotton fabric couch and not died of heat stroke. The threat of doomsday is in the back of my mind.
As wonderful a relief this turn of events is, it frightens me. I can never remember a July like this in the other 21 years of my life. Things are changing; in the country, in the atmosphere. There is a dark cloud hovering everywhere all over the world…one that doesn’t show up on Doppler radar.
In my conscious I can feel its essence. It feels like the potential of evil and violence. We have already seen much of it over the past year or two. A wet rag subdued the first flames, but an inferno itches to take hold and it must. We’ve been told how the story ends, but we resist the natural way of getting there?
I’m reliving political moments of 2016 that changed the course of world events forever. I’m reexamining the tension…the first manifestation of this dark cloud. It’s moved far, far away at the moment. The air is breathable—enjoyable, even!
For the moment, I feel safe but I won’t tell you why. For as long as I can I will revel in the protection that keeps the storm from bursting, that keeps that small breeze blowing. For as long as I can, I will go without shoes and walk the humid mud paths and keep my windows open. For as long as I can, I will forget age and be blissfully unaware of time.