Heat Wave

We're having a heat wave: temperatures at 105 degrees fahrenheit (40 celsius) for the past three days. When you walk out into it, you hit a wall of heat that feels like it should any minute spontaneously combust. "Spontaneous combustion" is term I learned in primary school from the Fire Department, which used to make a yearly visit to the classroom to warn another 30 budding householders about the dangers of running electric cords under rugs and storing oily paint rags. In other, less democratic (?) parts of the world children have been encouraged to turn their parents in for impolitic opinions; but where I grew up we were encouraged to report their dangerously incivil attention to the trajectories of electric lamp cords and leftover paint rags.


Last evening at about 6 pm, two hours before sunset, having been stuck inside all day, I betook myself to the university vegetable and flower farm to do a spot of weeding. In no time sweat was rolling down my cheeks, fogging my sunglasses. And it didn't let up. However, like the good calvinist I am, I persisted. I weeded all of "A Block" (tomatoes, bachelor buttons, various sizes, colours and hotness of peppers, parsley. . .) before I put my tools and bucket back, changed from sneakers to flipflops (feet dust-coloured), snipped some basil for dinner, a few tomatoes and 4 or 5 sunflowers, and headed home, where my husband was about to depart, by bike, on a search-and-rescue mission.