Tuesday, September 18, 2012
100 Degree Winter
I am stopped in the shade by a fence post looking out to the horizon over Paraguayan estero (marshland). Its like watching a pot of rice right before it boils--the foaming steam rises like a thick cloud of smoke as the pockets of standing water are burned off by a unforgiving sun. The visibility is driven down. The smell of muddy water hangs on a delicate, teasing, hot breeze. Air fills the lungs like sap, heavy and viscous and sticking to the inside of the chest. My limbs seem to carry me autonomously from shade to shade, skipping over the dirt of the open road like a stone across water. I wish. Its fucking hot.
Spring time officially arrives on the 21st of September here in the Southern Hemisphere. Right now, as I drag my feet across this desiccated patch of earth, I am reminded by this seasons first glimpse returning migrant birds that it is, in fact, still only winter. Yvyra’pyta trees have begun to sport their temporal red blooms, adorning the tops of their umbrella-like form, dancing in the heat haze as if part of some Dr. Seuss landscape. The crops creep slowly upwards, the only direction they know how, hoping to become something strong before being reigned in and beaten down by the coming summer sun.
My neighbors are less enthusiastic about doing projects than I think I am. At least, I think I am being enthusiastic. In reality, I am finding myself, drowsing off, zoning out and silently praying for responses like, “Despues de la lluvia” or, “Otro dia, possiblimente”. When its over a hundred degrees, you can see the effects in the world around you, the sapping energy of that heat is like a glaring scar on every leaf and in the face of every person. Even more profound, is the effect that this kind of heat has within the body itself--as if some enormous snake has its grips around your rip cage, forcing an effort for each breath. The atmosphere, playing the magnifying glass to the will of a sadistic sun, holds down your already heavy body. Your density is only outpaced by that of the air itself; floating on the Dead Sea. That sun shines and burns and persists only for you.