As I was leaving school today, I opened the door and was accosted by an old, wicked enemy: humidity. I did my best to remain calm and not complain to the coworker who walked beside me. Still, I couldn’t stop perspiring, just a little bit.
“I know this kind of warm weather makes most people happy,” I told her in a calm voice. “But it sure doesn’t do anything for me.”
I lied. This weather, in fact, does something awful to me. It bears down on my flesh. It weighs down. I become prone to impatient outbursts directed at loved ones. I become afflicted with some paralyzing psychosis which manifests itself in a sticky, airless claustrophobia. Then I become haunted by hallucinations of me, Prometheus-bound, being consumed and devoured by mosquitos. For eternity.
In such a state, little things take their toll. While I was trying to “transition” the children to the next activity after coming in from the hot sun, Henry tells James that he no longer wants him to be his brother — or his friend. “Henry!” I stopped him. “How would YOU feel if I said that I didn’t want YOU to be MY son anymore?”
(No, this is not a proud moment in parenting. The humidity was warping my judgment and my honest intention of delivering a lesson on empathy.)
But do you know how he responded? “Um, probably that would be good. Then I could live with Grandma and Grandpa Cookie. And that would be fun!”
This is the kind of humidity that’s been sticking to my flesh all day long.
But later this evening something else got my attention. It started with a lilac bush. The scent was melting under the weight of the heat into soft shades of pink and purple. And in the distance, a rabbit was chewing on the green stem of a dandelion. He looked at me for a long time.
Finally, here on the couch, the sky keeps flashing pink. And a soft rain whispers grace through an open window.