i do apologize, dear visitor and issue this alert: this post contains a rather lengthy moan and groan about the unforgivable weather However, after i vent i do share some more positive thoughts and a pleasant photo or two. If you don't wish to indulge my rant you can jump down to the photo for a few, more positive thoughts. And now, the rant:
Yesterday, it was 109F in the parking lot of the movie theater when we came out at 2pm
it was 102F in the garden.
Outside, away from the unnatural "conditioned" air it is difficult to breathe shade offers no respite. Nights are long and restless
This is simply not natural for our region. It feels as though Hades has come, uninvited plopped down with a greedy grin and is refusing to leave until it has sucked all of the life out of every living thing.
Standing in line at the deli i overheard a man say "I'd take a week of snow and ice over this awful stuff." i wanted to hug him. Given that he was a total stranger i resisted the urge and just gave him a grin and a nod instead.
i confess that i feel not one iota of sympathy for those who moan only in rain or snow--and thereby reveal their utter ignorance for the needs of the natural world around them. Yes, of course i empathize with those who feel trapped, or threatened living in a climate they dislike. But, i confess i find it difficult to voice my understanding when most are silent during heat and drought.
i find the rote, endlessly chanted-from-every-outlet "sunshine = happiness" to be utterly foolish and distasteful. Those in this seemingly vast chorus are obviously blind and do not see the large tracts of dead maples, oaks, ash and other important native trees across the hillsides, fields and mountains of the entire northeast. Worse, if they do see them, they fail to comprehend the disaster those skeletons warn us of. News outlets never notice until conditions are desperate. This widely accepted blindness, or ignorance--or just plain silence while the sun shines relentlessly--hurts me. i try hard not to, but i'm afraid i take it personally.
i write a garden column for our local daily and i do my best to learn what i need to know about all of this and to share it. i've written frequently too frequently over the past decade about my case of RSAD, "reverse seasonal affective disorder" and i posted this public service announcement/warning on Facebook for all those who live in my vicinity: DO NOT utter the words "isn't this gorgeous weather". We just might learn that looks can kill or maim. It was my attempt at a sour joke after i'd come in from the smothering heat.
Writing publically about my distaste for hot weather has given others permission to acknowledge their distaste for blistering summer heat. Last spring, when it rained and rained and rained some more nearly every week, for two months we smiled, knowingly when we ran into each other. A postal clerk whispered "I know most people walk around miserable, but I love this." When individuals stopped me to exclaim, "I can't believe how fabulous the roses were this year!" i explained, "It was the good snow pack over the past 2 winters--and all that rain." Most just stared back slack-jaw incredulous. "You can't be serious" in their eyes.
It's bad enough that my body revolts in temperatures above 80F (i've experience one too many bouts of heat exhaustion in my attempts to "tough it out" when i was hired to design, install and maintain gardens) Even so, i could cope with being trapped indoors with the ac and fans running 24/7 i could read, play in PhotoShop, and haul the hoses around in the early morning hours while Hades reigns if it weren't for the fact that this type of heat destroys so much of what i love out there (including wildlife) where no one can irrigate.
Leaves from the beloved birch rain down as it attempts to protect itself from further loss of moisture. The running joke is that weather forecasters are always wrong, right?? i surely hope so, because--contrary to popular assumptions i've lost more trees, shrubs and "hardy" perennials to summer than any of the "harsh winters" that have come our way over the past 30+ years.
My heart leaped up when the dawn revealed an overcast sky to shield us, if only a few short hours from the harsh sun.
OK. ,nuf of that. For today. Thank you, dear visitor (if you are still with me) for listening and indulging me. i do feel better for having expressed these feelings...even if you left. Now...onto other things.
There are cheery blue chicory flowers in a sea of lovely grass ignored by the men with their terrible mowing machines
and tropical plants in pots like this Plumbago auriculata
The other very bright spot, The Movie the final installment of the Harry Potter saga was a very wonderful surprise definitely not the disappointment i had expected after seeing the very poor HP &DH part one.
i had determined that i would see the films even tho the previous 3 had been disappointing. It was my duty to sweet Jon the nephew who is/was my best friend and who got me hooked on the books. An avid reader, the HP books were the only ones in the fantasy genre he ever liked. He had read them and listened to the audio versions several times and was my source when i forgot details in books 4-6. He laughed in a scolding manner when, at first, i mixed up the names Dumbledore and Gandalf. (Neither he nor i enjoy Tolkein. Sorry!)
While watching the boring HP & DH part 1 i could hear him saying what i was thinking, too "that part of the book can only be read" and "Wow. They blew it at the end of the film. Hollow. Devoid of the wrenching feelings of awe at the loss of Dobby."
Part 2. Completely different experience. i was enthralled. It was a satisfying conclusion to Harry's saga. It's as if the filmmakers saved all of their heart for last. i was especially moved with the marvelous artistry in the rendering of that magnificent, tortured white dragon crawling up, up, up to his freedom, Snape's petronus, and the revelation of his true character, and, of course, Harry's final battle.
It was simply a heart-full. My sister, my nephew, my niece were all with me. Just like when i read the book.
Even tho the heat from Hades slapped us in the face as we opened the doors and left the theater to step out into blazing sunshine (me, my sister and friend) our full hearts carried us up and above all the rest of the day.
So often, people get things so very, very wrong. It felt so good to sit for 2.5 hours carried away with people who got it right.
and today i'm celebrating that young golden boy who stole my heart
who i created this blog for because he loved to see so many of the things i do.
And, one of my favorite things about that young man was his eclectic taste in music.
i remember the impassioned musicappreciation lesson he shared with me one evening on his last visit to this garden...all about the fine art of wailing guitars, Van Halen and what sets them above all the rest. Then, half an hour later, he was singing the praises of bass-baritone Paul Robeson. Then, he went online so i could hear another of his favorite songs:
i started this blog several years ago when i saw what artists were doing on the Internet, and how well photographs usually appear in this medium (i've always loved viewing photographs with light passing through them rather than reflecting off their surface). Once i got going, i immediately wished to share it with my Best Friend...my "Best Boy" ...a nephew. He has always been one of my dearest fans and his delight/enjoyment was my chief reward and i was always eager to see what he thought of each post. Then i told a few more "old friends" and then began posting on your blogs and have enjoyed this curiously addicting communication.
Dear Friends of the Internet...The Boy has left us. Not of his own accord. He certainly didn't want to...after all, he had just found the love of his life last spring and married last fall. But... i've been struggling, trying to find the words to say this without using the words "his heart failed him"
For a couple of weeks, he prepared himself to be placed on a transplant list. Then "last chance" treatments seemed to be helping. But, that's the way it goes sometimes...just when you think things are getting better...the bottom drops away.
so this is just me trying to say to those of you who have been kind, supportive visitors i had to say something here i couldn't just keep posting and not because this silly little fun thing was first and foremost one of the tender ties between The Boy and me
i know that all of you know this type of hollowness and i know he knows all too well loss is something he knew too early, too often and now again.
There is a list that keeps rolling around in my head: the heart of the matter ya gotta have heart it takes heart heart of gold brave heart heartland with all of my heart from the bottom of my heart heartache heart sick heart broken always in my heart bless his heart true heart
i will not keep saying, "he was"
He is gentle, funny, a tease, a flirt, truly guileless, and always in my heart, my eyes. He has tremendous courage. He has heart He never gave up. He is all heart.
in our joys and in our sorrows... how curious how strange that i would end up using this blog with and for the heart.
Jonathan Gerritt Peter Paine because of you, i am slowly becoming a better me this photo was taken about 25 years ago