I took a beautiful bike ride last night on my favorite 20k loop. We have had some brutal heat waves the last few days; coupled with the humidity the heat index has been over 115 on more than one occasion. I will be standing in front of the class (and I will take standing over sitting ANY day), and then in a 10 minute stretch I will become aware that the floodgates have opened on my body from head to toe, throwing off rivers of water in a desperate attempt to maintain a reasonable core temperature. The only access I have to AC is on the buses to NKP, more of a tease than an effective coolant. A fan directly jetting on me makes it endurable, and I sometimes stand practically in the one at Thai Samakee. I do feel much less crushed by the heat than I did back in October. Realistically though, it makes actions like typing on the computer unpleasant, and laying on a mattress is awful. So yesterday's sudden thunder and lightning storm helped crest the wave and drop the mercury into the human realm again. I can tell it bothers the locals a bit, but certainly not on par with this Mainer, visions of crystaline Hobbs Pond floating in his head. (Someone with a bit of biology background can perhaps help me understand how it is that the locals do manage it better- I know they have little to no body hair, but is there more to it? ) I waited until the last moment to take the ride and still make it home before dark. A storm helps with the heat, but it is by no means a cure. I sometimes think of my dear friend Mike Clark sweating away on a hot Maine day- here, after ten minutes or so, nothing would remain of him but a pool of water, a set of blue running shorts, and two rocks. Back to the ride, simply perfect. Little to no traffic, not counting the herds of water buffalo and cows, quiet except for those same cows' tinkling bells, farmers out in their pointy hats, bent over planting rice, the air lightened and freshened, and endless varieties of green. Somewhat like New England, a dramatic cloud sunset is notable here- at least in comparison to Colorado where I grew up, an explosively radiant daily sunset practically guaranteed (speaking of which, I am guaranteed of having to look up how to spell guaranteed every frickin time!). Smart boy, I brought my camera (actually the camera I am borrowing from my good friend after losing mine) and I happily cut my ride short to capture it.
The beauty of a sunset is naturally melancholic, signaling an end, and try as I might I could not keep my mind from asking Can I possibly leave such a place? Could I make this my home? If only I had a dozen lives to roam and settle, roam and settle, roam and settle- perhaps I would find a way to stillness.
Someone was kind enough to add the Bronk poem to my older post. Thank you so much, Anonymous! Either it holds up well after twenty five years when I first read it, or I just haven't grown at all as a reader. It still hits me with the same quietly complex jolt.
GREEN AS A VERITY
Do you see the light on those green trees?
Green is real in an intensity of green.
Deciduousness is nothing, as evergreen
is nothing either. These are not the point.
Certain situations lack all green,
or it is there in all variety.
But this is not the point. Exactly not.
Who denies it; we are not told
anything we can believe in, and we live
in a hardly credible world. What is not
hidden from us? Our reasonings confuse
us and obscure what little we think to see of the world.
It is that kind of a place; but even so,
some things cannot stay hidden, are obvious.
We stumble on them and wonder how or why
we missed it before, that, for intance, green
is a verity, not to be reckoned without
in its absence even, in places where it is not,
and there are such places and such times.
The idea of green. That there are verities.