The summer that wasn’t seems to be morphing into the fall that isn’t. It’s the end of September and the temperature outside is pushing 30 degrees Celsius at 10 am. The hill shows barely a hint of colour. Yesterday we came home from a week at our Lake Superior cottage, driving through the Superior highlands that should be awash in reds and oranges. Not yet. The week was horribly hot, even on the water, which was glassy-still—barely a breeze except for one day when the air just couldn’t contain any more moisture and thunder storms rolled in for a few hours. Then, back to the heat, which is breaking records all over Ontario.
This follows a summer of dreary skies, cool temperatures, and too much rain. There were days on end in July and August when I couldn’t walk on my vegetable garden without sinking in the mud. The bean plants turned yellow—drowned, I suspect. My own tomatoes and peppers have done reasonably well; I don’t know why. Most people gave up on them weeks ago. Not enough sunlight to ripen fruits that were rotting on the vine. Now the plants appear to be dying of old age. I guess that’s what they’ll do if there’s not a frost to hasten them along.
Of course, the grass loves all this. The late-summer respite, when the grass slows down, never came. The lawn is still growing like mad, cashing in on the combination of summer’s moisture and September’s heat, revealing varieties of weeds and grasses I’ve never seen before. I know I waxed eloquent a few posts back about the pleasure of mowing the lawn. That was June. This is almost October. Enough, already.
But wait. Am I grumbling about a wet summer and a late September heat wave while much of the world is reeling from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes?
I pour myself a glass of ice water while reading that folks in Puerto Rico will be without power or water for weeks, perhaps months. I lower the blinds on my south-facing windows while families in Mexico (the country second only to Canada in my heart) and the Caribbean have lost their homes, even their children, to a series of natural disasters I can barely fathom. I search in vain for signs of fall in my own wooded hill while forest fires devour parts of western Canada and the US. And of course we hear only faint rumblings of the suffering from extreme weather events in Asia, so focused are we on our own hemisphere.
How easy it is to wallow in our own private and passing discomfort when genuine disasters are erupting out of sight. Mea culpa. On so many levels.
Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler.