Sunday, July 22, 2018

'I Want Some Rains, or Even Snow'

Flowers and neighbors droop in the heat. Squirrels lie cooling their bellies, in vain. I chug-a-lug a 16.9-ounce bottle of San Pellegrino mineral water without breathing. The thermometer said 101° F., our first triple-digit day this summer. The fictional “heat index” said 110° F. No rain in a week and everyone is thinking about next month’s anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s arrival. If you say “Harvey” here, no one thinks “Weinstein.” The weather is pushy, tough to ignore. Think of it as a mouthy backseat driver. Charles Lamb in a letter to Robert Lloyd written on this date, July 22, in 1800, renders a different sort of weather report, equally challenging:

“I have had such a deadness about me. Man delights not me nor women neither. I impute it in part, or all together, to the stupefying effect which continued fine weather has upon me. I want some rains, or even snow and intense cold winter nights, to bind me to my habitation, and make me value it as a home—a sacred character which it has not attained with me hitherto. I cannot read or write when the sun shines: I can only walk.”

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