This is a silly comment, really. I live in a rural community. I am at home, in my nice house with my dear husband of 42 years. There’s barely any crime here. The COVID rate is very low.
I live in this world. I live in this crazy, out of control world. I am aware that going grocery shopping or getting a haircut can put me and those I love at risk. I try to stay safe. I order online and I wear my mask when the FedEx comes to the door with my case of wine.
We wash our hands. We disinfect. We are secure.
But I’m still afraid.
And I watch the news. I see the outbreaks of racial violence and the riots in the streets. Even though I live pretty much in the wilderness, I am worried about the wide world around me.
But a funny thing happened today. Something that has really caught me off guard and gotten me to thinking.
Here in North Central Massachusetts, the weather has been very dry, and pretty warm. Today, though, the warm jumped itself right up to hotter-than-hell.
I played outside with my two grandkids this morning, running through the sprinkler, jumping into the tiny blow-up pool, watering the herbs and flowers. We came in and had lunch, and the little guy went down for a well deserved nap.
As I sat in my living room with my granddaughter, the temperature really started to rise. The heat got worse, the humidity rose, the sweat popped up on both of our heads.
It was…..gross. We didn’t like it. Little Ellie and I were NOT HAPPY. So we did what happens pretty rarely in this part of the world.
We turned on the window AC unit in the living room.
We closed the living room and dining room windows, shut the skylight and let the machine do it’s magic.
Within an hour, the house was cool, we had stopped sweating, and Nonni’s three months of ignored hair growth had dried out a bit.
By dinner time, the kids had gone home with Mom and Dad and Papa and I made our dinner. In an unusual homage to the heat, I made the whole dinner indoors, instead of out on the grill. I saluted our AC unit as I did it.
We had dinner. We watched the news. We chatted about our day and did the dishes and got settled down to read our respective books.
All the while, that AC unit kept chugging. And we did not sweat or curse the heat.
Which brings me to this moment, tonight, as the sun sets on a gloriously beautiful summer day in New England.
I do not want to shut off my AC unit, even though the air outside has cooled. I do not want to open my windows, in spite of the sweet smells of wild rose and honeysuckle and peony that I know would come wafting in.
I do not want to touch the world outside of these four walls tonight. Instead, I want to stay safely wrapped in my faux safe air flow, pretending that the world of deadly viruses and deadly hatred cannot reach me while I sleep.
I know that I am only pretending.
Even so, I will go to bed tonight with the window units running.