Buoyant with the notion that it was going to get cooler yesterday, I spent the late morning tackling some of the jobs I had been ‘leaving ’til after’. I heaved over water troughs and scrubbed the green out of them, refilling them with clear cold water and a little cider vinegar. I got the tractor out and cleaned the Shush Sisters’ Pigsty, scooping all the muck and straw into the tractor bucket. I picked and chopped everyones lunch. The animals lunch that is. I pulled down another few bales of hay, loaded up the wheelbarrow and fed the cows under the trees. I added a clip to my step pushing just a little harder. Starting job after job. Around the middle of the day it became apparent that it was not cooling down at all in fact it was hotting up, and half way through a task I realised that the light was not sparkly – I was seeing stars. The shovel was not heavy – it was my chest that was heavy. The thermometer was reading 104 and I was feeling a bit unwell. The air I was dragging into my lungs was hot. Really hot.
By the time I finally let myself go inside I was having trouble walking, I had stopped sweating and my head was pounding. I felt too nauseous even to drink. I lay down in front of a fan and fell completely and immediately asleep. I never thought this would happen to me. I do not succumb to the weather.
Awake now, I decided to sit down for a wee while to recover and cruise some of my favourite blogs and see what was what. That is when I discovered that I have become invisible. I looked at my weeks numbers. Hundreds of my readers have dissappeared and most of the comments I had been making throughout the week on your pages were not showing. And most of the blogs I am following are no longer showing on the reader or in my email. Am I in your spam folder? Have I dropped off your reader? Have you dropped off mine? Am I really here? Hullo!! Has there been a catastrophe, should I listen to the news? What is happening? Has WordPress got sunstroke too? Ah well. I will find you.
Good morning. I blame my narrow excape from sunstroke on being brought up at the beach. I forget how insidious the humid heat on the prairies really is. Yes, I was wearing my wide brimmed wedding hat. Yes, I had been drinking water. No, I had not gone back inside out of the heat. You know what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun. Ah well.
In New Zealand, just outside of a town called Rotorua, is a secret hot pool. Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity, its hot water, mud pools and tourism. This hot pool is not commercial or fancied up, it looks like a big clear deep puddle. It belongs to the locals. To find it you have to drive down some side roads and under bridges, park, then walk a wee way back into the bush. It is a wide warm pool of water. Fed by two streams. One hot and one cold. I used to visit it often when I was driving and I never once saw another person there. I would hang my dress in a tree, leave my sandals on the bank and just walk straight into the water. Early Autumn was the best time for this. At the far end of the pool the two streams enter very close to each other and I discovered that if you floated in the warm water close to where the streams flowed into the pool, holding onto this big rock, that an arm of cold water would curl around your body as you lay floating in the heat.
The sensation of the cold stream moving through the hot stream, delaying its passage for just a moment as it washed over your shoulders and down to your waist and away, is so hard to describe. I have tried for years to find the right words. The water became animate in a way. If you were able to colour the streams then you would watch a transparent deep teal column of colour swirl in. Flicking its bluegreen tail like a fat eel, mixing the colours for a moment. I used to say it was a welcome chill from the embrace of a long dead lover. Someone you miss terribly and always will. Their touch makes you flinch it is so cold and so incongruous and from another world but you want to feel it just a little longer. My skin shivers at the memory.
Yesterday in the evening I felt a cool stream of air, just like this cold water. It sliced cleanly in through the heat, brushing up against my overheated body, then moving past, followed by more and then more. The stream of cool air widened as it gathered confidence. I stood on the verandah in the dark and breathed in the blessed coolness like a starving woman. Then I walked around the house opening all the windows and doors and positioning the fans to suck more of this glorious bluegreen air into the house.
Today I will finish those tasks I started yesterday. You have a lovely day. You can Leave your Hat on, but come in out of the beating sun if it is still at your place.
Please check your spam folder and see if I am in there. Set me free.
Today.. a year ago.. the bees swarm. This was my second post ever. Not destined for the book I think. But well worth checking out if you are interested in capturing a swarm of bees.