Heat Wave

It’s been hotter here in the Pacific Northwest than I can ever remember. The moss in the forest is crispy brown instead of its usual emerald green and a few of the largest deciduous trees surrounding my property have even dropped a few leaves. If the trees could talk, I think they’d whine, “it’s too hot.”

When I was a young woman, I had the great privilege of living in India for a few years and experienced some of the hottest temperatures of my life. My journal states on one of those days the temps climbed to 123 degrees with 100% humidity. At the time, I lived in a small concrete outbuilding with no air conditioning, of course, and adopted the local way to stay cool: dump buckets of water on the concrete floor, lay down on a straw mat in about 2” of the tepid stuff, directly under an overhead fan until the sun went down, and more important try not to move. It worked. Or at least I survived the heat. I lay under that fan counting my breaths or fantasizing about what I’d do once the heat wave passed –drink a cold soda from the market, laugh with my friends, put on a fresh dress, dance in the streets.

One time, I sat up in the water and tried to read but when I opened my book the pages had begun to disintegrate and a few maggots crawled out of the spine. It left me breathless.*

In my new home I have air conditioning and the books on my shelf are intact and I don’t have to lay in a pool of water for hours and hours before I can drink iced tea or call my friend or take a shower and put on clean clothes or dance all around the house in my bare feet. Solace in gratitude for what I have.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

*you can read more of my amazing journey in my new book, Wandering – a memoir, available 2022.

© 2021. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Published by Sharon Kreider

Author

4 thoughts on “Heat Wave

  1. Reading about Grammie got me to thinking about my own mom. She was shy and didn’t have much involvement in our community. She raised six girls as a stay at home mom while my dad was on the road for work. As I matured and thought about what a hard row to hoe it must have been, she assured me that it was exactly what she had wanted to do. She was sent to a Catholic orphanage at a young age and numerous foster homes but she was a very loving mother to all of us. The only grandmother I knew (my dad’s mother) was raised as an only child in a lighthouse off the coast of Washington where the social graces never reached her. She married an immigrant from Norway and they lived a secluded life together. They would occasionally come to visit but would leave before we came home from school. I saw her on some holidays but don’t remember that she ever hugged me.

    Mom’s gone now and I still miss her. How she could so whole-heartedly love her children when she received so little, I still find hard to fathom. I am so grateful that she did as I believe it enabled me to both give and receive love.

    Karin

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    1. Karin – what a wonderful comment to my blog! I loved hearing about your family, your grandmother, and your mother! What interesting details about Norway and your grandmother being an only child living in a lighthouse off the coast of Washington. I bet you have a special affinity with lighthouses… Take care.

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      1. Thanks, Sharon, I appreciate the note. I’ve been enjoying your beautiful writings though I haven’t responded until this one. Yes, I do have a special affinity for lighthouses. A favorite ball cap is one with Mukilteo on it. Both my parents were born in that town. The Mukilteo lighthouse is on the farthest part of the NW coast and where some of Mom’s ashes were scattered. I do enjoy visiting lighthouses and hearing their varied histories and also reading fiction that’s centered around a lighthouse. “Ahab’s Wife” was a favorite. You take care too and know that what you’ve been writing is being read and very much enjoyed. Karin

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