Li Bo (also known as Li Bai and Rihaku, friend of Du Fu, who has visited this site before) knew about heat. Read this aloud for its music and the relief of that wind.
Gently I stir a white feather fan,
With open shirt sitting in a green wood.
I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;
A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.
It’s hot here. I’ve lost count of the weeks without rain. I know there was one shower in late July but nothing for weeks before that, or since. I know we’ll lose some trees this year. We water the ones near the house—the copper beech planted for my parents, the little oak found growing on a trail near us (and seeded by a squirrel, I think, from an acorn gathered in a garden near Sakinaw Lake), the magnolia planted for John’s 40th birthday, the Merton Beauty apple in the vegetable garden. But the Douglas firs, the cedars, the hemlocks—well, let’s face it, we live in a forest, and there are too many trees to even begin to water in the way they need it: gallons, for those root systems anchoring them in place. Many of them are very stressed. We are too, a little. Though not too stressed to make chiles rellenos for dinner, half of which appear here, the other half eaten with roasted salsa, corn, steamed beans and tiny crookneck squash (and these remaining chiles will make a nice dinner tomorrow night, too, cool with tomatoes and salad of green beans and little potatoes with tarragon).
What weather. Flooding in so many places, temperatures in the high teens in Ottawa, and here it’s more like 33. Yet this morning the lake was beautiful and cool, the light clear, the sky as blue as a book of hours. I’d love to wake in the night and hear rain on our metal roof. I think the trees would too. In the meantime, a white feather fan would be lovely, and wind from pine trees.
2 thoughts on “heat”
This is lovely, Theresa. We’ve had so much rain this summer – and maybe only about three weeks of what I’d call summer. I’m grateful for the rain, living in the forest. But I wish we could share it around a bit.
Leslie, I think this our hottest, driest summer — and we’ve lived here since 1981. There are nice things for sure. Swimming in a clean lake every morning, the (mostly) starry skies (mostly, because during the smoke haze, we couldn’t see anything), and no slugs! But I know the trees are stressed. Needles everywhere. And the salmon creeks are so low.