35 tagged with #weather

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reminders from the crossing guard


the street reeks of ginkgo berries, a warm mushy pungent paste that coats the fresh pavement, which is too hot in this mid-october week. i skid to a stop, panting gently in the shade.

"how are you?" she asks, peacefully standing in the rectangle formed by the power box blocking the afternoon sun.

"hot. too hot. i wish it were colder."

she let me sweat for a moment while the cars blew past us, then reminded me that the weather came from something i didn't understand. true enough, i thought. we have never understood the weather. "are you a christian?" she asks.

"no."

"well, sometimes i read the bible," she confesses. "and sometimes i'm out here, and i see the trees waving, and i say it's because they're thanking god for the day."

we cross the street together, looking up at the canopy of branches forming a shield for us against a hazy blue sky. it is mid-october, and they are not yet ready to drop their leaves. sweat pools under my watch strap. she tells me about how before i ran up to her, she was just standing there enjoying the nice breeze.

"and maybe sometimes we gotta think about how our negativity might impact the world around us," she tells me gently, while i take an extra moment to let my skin cool. "we can be grateful just to be here today."

she puts out her hand to me, and thanks me for taking the moment to listen. i shake her hand; it's dry and cool, and she does not grip firmly when she wishes me a good rest of my run.

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08 October 2018 16:53


rain forever


the weather station assures us that the rain will eventually stop, just not until monday. it's sunday night. this morning, i woke up cold, to a wall of water streaming down outside my window. the sky was grey. at sunset, the sky is still grey.

the rhythm of drops fluctuated only barely; minutes outside is enough to soak through all my rain gear. later this week, it will be warm and sunny again, as hard as that may be to believe.

today's chores: buying groceries at the farmer's market, returning a library book, making lunch, eating lunch, making a snack, eating a snack, making dinner, eating dinner, making tomorrow's lunch, reading, showering, rotating my wet clothes on the drying rack.

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09 September 2018 17:54


lessons from the arctic (6)


you'll learn that over the days and days of walking due north, the sun will always be at your back. when you shoulder your pack and start moving, your shadow lances from your feet and presses onwards. over the course of the day, you'll watch it swinging left, right, gently in front of you as the path meanders and the sun launches its low arc behind you. the insides of your arms will tan.

your body will tire before the sun falls back into the earth, leaving you generous afternoon-seeming light to pick a spot for your tent and wash your sweat into a frigid stream. 'how will you sleep if the sun doesn't set?' people have asked you when you were preparing for this trip. you didn't know then, but you will find out as you walk that exhaustion will require your sleep more than the light will require your wakefulness.

(but when you stir in the depth of the night and look to the sky, it will be a light steely pastel tone, like the sun never finished setting. you'll blink blearily at it, and then roll over and press your face deeper into your sleeping bag.)

most days, you'll feel the wind on your face. you stay sandwiched between this insistent wind and the piercing sun, a brittle stick trying to move further into the nightless land ahead. some days, the wind will die down, and recover its breath from your side, whipping you off balance. when you feel it start to align with the sun, as if radiant heat has transformed into thickening clouds and a darker set of gusts, prepare to get wet.

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07 September 2018 20:51


glimpses


a dog barks from inside the house as i walk past. the dog is dark, the room is dark; all i see are flashes of bright teeth against the glare of the windows. the sounds come contained in a small space, reverberating off thin panes. i imagine hot breath.

i watched the ups man come up the walkway, his shirt translucent as it stretched across his back, soaked several times over with sweat.

i can't wait for this cool break in the weather. it won't last.

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06 July 2018 22:38


rain, three acts


act one

i roll my eyes up at the sky, whispering, just relax. relax, clouds. they hang heavy overhead, tight with water, grumbling as they roll past. i have a headache, sympathy pressure from the leading edge of the storm front pushing against the house.

release your burden, clouds. you have carried this water so far.

act two

i slipped through a break in the clouds, hovering under an awning while the storm releases its third wind. water pools past people's ankles as they scatter across the street.

"it looks like it's brightening up," a woman tells her blind companion. "it's brightning up for sure. this will pass soon."

act three

flash flood alerts explode across everyone's phones, even the one hooked up to the speakers that was playing music. we can all see it; the warehouse windows overlook the river, the skyline, the hills. a blot of grey pulls over us.

i have to bike home in this, i tell my friends. the water reaches my pedals on the downstrokes; it runs off hillsides and makes waterfalls that spill over the sidewalk. i fly through the curtain, eyes and mouth closed, hoping it hasn't washed broken glass my way. but it all smells like sewage, a day of rain filling up the drains and backwashing blackwater along the street.

it's fine, i tell myself. my tetanus shot hasn't expired yet. i'll keep riding and let the fresh rain wash away the dirt.

the skies clear before i get home.

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21 June 2018 00:21


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