Heat chokes the region. My lawn is essentially a field of brown weeds, as I cannot justify watering it, save to keep my property value up. I mow it, and the relative eveness keeps it presentable.
A ritual and sweaty lunch walk. An amble with my dog down near the stream along the biking trail. This weekend, a difficult ascent up a Blue Ridge mountain peak. Outside, feeling alive in the push through the low haze of late July.
The sun fuels me, recharging a body that is frequently tired, exhausted, and fatigued. It bookends my days in the summer, when the hours of sunlight are favorable and long. Going to bed just after sunset and rising as the sky starts to lighten has me, on most days, missing out on the darkness of night outside. Waking up during the night, my room has been starkly transformed to blue and grey. I often step out onto my deck.
Around my home, night isn’t silent, but rather, a noisy orchestra of foxes, birds, cicadas, crickets, and cats. The heat remains, though tempered and dulled, while inside, a ceiling fan provides a measure of relief as I return. Night noises penetrate the walls. Outside my room, the nocturnal respite from blazing sunshine has the wildlife riled to a peak summer frenzy, it appears.
My dog stirs when he senses I am awake, sitting up or walking over the edge of the bed to pant in my face, as if to let me know he’s also ready for some night air. On nights when I opt to stay in bed, I’ll pat his head and roll over. Moments after ignoring him, he’ll shuffle off, turn, and set himself down hard, expelling a “harumph”. Minutes later, his breathing turns to snoring.
I’ll roll and contort, unable to sleep without a sheet, but alternatively sweating beneath it. Eventually, sounds will melt into dreams, warmth will transform to slumber.