A dry heat

It’s July and it should be hot and thunderous. With stifling humidity that holds your lungs hostage and frizzes my hair when I walk outside. We should be ducking summer storms, soaking in sweat, swatting mosquitoes and nursing their welts in the morning. But last night was warm and breezy and dry. Absolutely lovely.

But I feel traitorous just thinking that. I shouldn’t embrace the weather, I should curse it. During the day our fields are a bristly wasteland where only weeds and corn flowers thrive. The lawn is brown and the boxwoods are dotted with tufts of yellow. Hope for a second cutting of hay fades away. Forecasters tempt us with storms and occasionally they lurk nearby, teasing us with smudged clouds.

But last night’s setting sun softens the browns and yellows of what should be green. The kids splash in the neighbors’ pool and instead of swatting mosquitoes, I cup a drink in my hand and watch the hummingbirds silhouetted over the feeder. A chorus of katydids tune up in the trees. It’s neither too cool or too hot. It’s perfect.

In lingering light we toss the kids in the gator and rumble down the drive. The breeze dries our suits and I tear off hunks of zucchini bread (a neighborly parting gift) and the kids lounge in the gator bed, cradling their wedges.

It’s a perfect summer night — temperate, breezy and bug-less. And the dry vegetation is blotted out in the near-dark. The only hint of drought rises behind us — a long plume of gravel dust, it’s smoky haze rising in our wake.