Here is your assignment.
August 30, 2013 § 8 Comments
You may cast your vote for other advances.
Like TVs that don’t go to a test pattern at night.
Or the companionship of the unblinking bright eyes of appliances ready 24/7 to heat a burrito or send a fax.
Or the always-there-for-you friends who inhabit a virtual cloud, one that will never take the shape of a turtle, or Pegasus, or Grandma Moses.
Still, for me those accomplishments pale beside that glass of ice water, sweaty with condensation on a hot summer day, the kind of day that causes you to sweat too, and check out the Grandma Moses clouds overhead for the possibility of a cooling shower.
But maybe modern life, with its teeming advances, has cheated you out of the pleasure of ice water. Perhaps summer heat has become something you experience fleetingly as you rush from air-conditioned home to air-conditioned car.
If you drink your ice water in a sealed, climate-controlled space you will not be impressed.
We teeter now at the very end of August. Even here in the South the dog days of summer will soon end. Before they do, here is your assignment.
Take a tall glass. Fill it with ice, then hold it under the tap and fill ‘er up.
With that icy glass in your hand, push the back door open. Sit down on the lawn and rope your arms around your knees. Listen to the heat-crazed buzz of insects, the glass cold in your hand. Take a swallow.
The best, am I right?
Now stretch out. Exhale. And tell me, what are the clouds up to today? The real clouds.
Over my house they are impersonating a swimming bear and the face of the Madonna.