A storm blew through last night, and it left fallen branches and leaves in its wake. When I was refreshing the pigs’ water (the “pond” above is their water bowl), I was struck by the image created by the multicolored leaves that had been swept into the water: it so clearly was, to me, a harbinger of Autumn.
There are other signs around the farm, like the changing colors of the big Tulip Poplar tree. Unlike the maple next to it, the Tulip Poplar’s bright green leaves have already begun to turn bright yellow, and the wind scattered the pops of color around the front yard.
And what is this “respite” I referenced in the poem? Respite from the #@$ned heat, of course. It’s been very hot, and today is incredibly humid (which I find less bearable than dry heat)…I needed a reminder that this oppressive, dangerously hot weather won’t last, that cooler temperatures are on the horizon and nearly here.
I particularly needed that reminder as I steamed in my own wrapper while getting those things that must be done, done, this morning, like feeding and watering, cleaning, removing undesirable weeds, and trimming up wickedly thorny hedge apple trees so that the animals don’t get tangled in it (and making a concerted effort not to get tangled in it or impaled, myself). And this was just a regular morning, nothing unexpected to complicate the routine or sidetrack me (if you don’t count the kiddie pool I filled then discovered later mostly empty because it now has a crack in it..!). But I digress – the heat makes everything more difficult, and the worst part is that it makes it more difficult for animals to survive. And with the risk of harm the heat brings, I need to check on the animals more frequently, refresh water more frequently, and basically spend a lot more time in the #@$ned heat, myself. If it’s not already apparent, the heat makes me cranky!
So when I see something like the still, cool, “pond”, I hold that image in my mind and, along with a nice cup of lemon balm tea, it helps me breathe a little more slowly and gain a little more perspective. I know I won’t win a war against the heat. All I can do is try to cope as best I can, and do what I can to get the animals through it…until Autumn.