Today the weather is searing hot – 97 degrees with 71% humidity and a “real feel” temperature of 111. I am outside, sitting on a bench in the shade of a huge maple tree, with my laptop open…and I am content.
I love the peacefulness of this day. Usually, our neighborhood has a fleet of landscapers mowing the lawns, blasting leaf blowers and using gas-powered string trimmers, and all of these make a constant racket that disrupts the music of nature. Today, nobody is outdoors and no machines are roaring. It is blissfully quiet.
Wrens and other birds (I wish I recognized the various calls!) are singing in the mulberry and ash trees. Groups of cicadas chirp in a sound that swells and then diminishes. Leaves whisper when the occasional breeze passes.
It is lovely out here. Swallowtail and monarch butterflies and pretty white moths flutter around the purple and yellow coneflowers and around the lavender flowers of the butterfly bushes. A doe, looking gentle and delicate with its pretty reddish summer coat, devours some wildflowers in the neighbor’s yard. The foliage surrounding me – from towering trees to hardy bushes to herbs, vegetables, and flowers, to the grass underfoot — is lush and deep green, the color of summer.
I don’t mind the heat because I know that at any moment, I could step inside my air-conditioned home to drink ice water and to cool down. I don’t mind sweating because nobody is here to see me, and I know that I’ll take a shower as soon as I go indoors. I am well hydrated, so I don’t have to worry about being depleted. Also, I am simply resting on a bench in the shade, not running in the sun. It is, according to the weather forecast, dangerously hot, but I am safe and sound.
My mind is as still as my surroundings. For the moment, all is well, despite the heat.