Every summer in Tucson I think the heat won’t be that bad – that it couldn’t possibly be that bad, because I still live here, after all. And in fact I do have fond feelings about the monsoons, summer storms which blow through town and shake the trees and flood the streets and break open what is tense and dry inside us all. But we haven’t gotten to that point yet: it’s still June, and the heat is an electric blanket that wraps around you when you step outside, so you can feel it burning your skin – it’s not just hot, it burns you. That’s where we are, until perhaps mid-July.
My garden needs way more water than is reasonable, but I’ve noticed that it’s being swarmed by birds, and there’s something satisfying about providing a tiny oasis for them in this time of mutual crisis. Yesterday I saw a dehydrated sparrow resting underneath the shade of a sunflower, and walked by the kale to see a whole handful of feathered bodies throw themselves into the air. Paul the dog is mad at me, because when I walk him early in the morning it’s cool enough to be enjoyable (only the 90s!), and yet I refuse to offer him the same option in the afternoons or evenings. But Paul stays inside mostly, so his major crisis is just boredom.
It was over 100 last night at 8 or 9pm, I’m pretty sure. The heat makes me slow and uncertain and testy.
We are testing ourselves, to be sure.