Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Cicadas Are Sounding

Around these parts it's not crickets one hears so much as cicadas this time of year. According to Wikipedia, "Cicadas like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day." If you were visiting us this summer you would hear them singing. With much spirit.

We're at that point in the summer where locals languish in the shade talking about how great it will be here in two months. We like to take note of the fact (fact, folks. FACT!) that no other place in the country has six months of good weather to look forward to after coming down off a hot summer bender. This is how we console ourselves on the tenth of August where there are still twenty-one days left until September. A month that we still anticipate using the air conditioner. A month we know that the nights get nice but don't really have the bite to produce sweaters until into October. But we've come this far, darn it, and we're going to survive.

I remember this time last year. I had a wee babe. I was up at night watching videos from Netflix and reading. I was tired and battling our newly discovered pests the cockroaches. I was one month post partum and lactating like a banshee. I was driving around town with a twenty month old and a newborn wondering how we would survive the heat. But we survived. We thrived even.

And we're thriving again. Our two little desert children like being outside. The elder two of the Hanson Four do not enjoy it quite so much. We wait until after dinner when shade has descended upon half our yard to venture out. We want some churning legs and flailing arms to expend energy before bedtime. We want some sweaty heads to justify the water in the bathtub. We want some lemonade and crackers on a blanket out back.

We want a pool.

So last night when some friends called and invited us to a last-minute swim at their mother/grandma/mother-in-law's house we did something we rarely do: we said, "Yesohmygoshwewillbetherewithbellson!" We were about to start dinner and we put away the fixins. We gathered our suits and got into our hot car at 4:00. We enjoyed a very summer meal which reminded us parents of our childhoods and laid the foundation of childhood memories for our collective four children. We ate fast because there were four children under four chomping at the bit to swim and their loudness could not we ignored.

So when it came to be 6:45 and we were still in the pool we all wondered at the loveliness of the passage of time in the desert when a body of water is involved. Three quarters of the adults represented had desert childhoods to recollect and counted up the hours of time we spent in the pool. We indulged in some classic pool games: catch the ball while jumping in the water, underwater handstands; while we just reminisced of others: marco polo, screaming underwater and trying to decipher the words, mermaid, diving competitions.

It is a beautiful thing to be young and fecund and descend upon a sleepy little community pool with all your fecundity and forget about how hot and oppressing the hotness is.

Even the heat is beautiful. I always think of it as a character that looms large in the Phoenician drama. All Phoenicians have feelings and relations with this character. We all deal with it differently. Some love the heat for the relief it brings from arthritis, some love the lack of mess it creates, some love the wardrobe it requires, and some hate this heat. Admittedly, I usually do. But as my husband said this morning after the winter I always forget how hot it really gets. I always think, "It doesn't get that hot. It's really not that bad." This is what keeps us coming back for more. This romance with the Fahrenheit. This particular summer genre.


Katherine W said...

THIS makes me miss arizona.

E. Twist said...

Nice job. Real nice.

jmgb said...

perspective...i think i am going to need it as it appears are roots here are deepening still:)

allison said...

Yesterday was day three of mac and cheese for us. Glad Chef Husband took you back to summers past.

Tara T. McIlrath said...

Although it is 83 and gorgeous out here in Knoxville, I do miss Arizona. Miss the people most. Love your perspective