Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Mississippi: Weather

“Summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it's a dimension.  Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.”   ― Eugene Walter, The Untidy Pilgrim

“It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused.  Sitting on the porch, you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.”  Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Mississippi weather can be crazy.  It's HOT, HOT, HOT here this summer with 100% humidity. That means walking outside makes it hard to breathe.  Really hard to breathe.  When you step outside, you immediately feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest to say hello.  It's a strange feeling and hard to explain, but it makes the heat just that much more.  

And it's confusing.  Right this moment a slight breeze is blowing and my weather app says it is 85 degrees outside.  There are gray clouds filling up the sky offering the hopeful promise of a little rain.  But there will be none.  The high today is 99 with a real feel of 103 and there is zero percent chance of water actually falling from the sky.  Oh, but one can wish and dream and plan of standing outside as the rain falls and gloriously letting it soak into your clothes and hair and skin.  

It's been days (maybe weeks) since rain fell here. My tulip tree actually thinks that Fall has arrived.   It is dropping its leaves faster than ever.  Beneath its limbs, the ground is littered brown and yellow and orange and red. Yet, Fall is not in sight.  We've got quite a ways to go before cool, crisp air arrives in our neck of the woods.

Tulip Tree

The sun shines brightly through the leaves of the old oaks in my yard.  We seek out their shade and shelter on sweltering evenings.  Mosquitoes buzz, light fades, heat rises and the sweet stickiness of summer envelops who we are.

There is no escape from the sun on a summer day.

We pursue sanctuary from the heat in our lawn chairs or on the hammock, but usually the dry, humid warmth surrounds us.  And we end up right back inside.  There is cool air there with the only buzz that of the air conditioner as it whirs softly and lulls us into rest while offering respite from the oppressive humidity and impassioned sun.

Outside my window as I relish the cool.

The weather can be confusing in my Mississippi.  The temperature will hit 102 and 103 in the next few days and the real feel will be closer to 110.  It's hot and the humidity makes it more uncomfortable than you can imagine.

But it is home and I love it.

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