Dear Rhode Island Summer,
I hate you.
Never mind that when you decide it’s time to grow things you do so with a greenhouse vengeance, all unrelenting heat and humidity that plants crave and I wilt in. You try to appease me with ridiculously dramatic thunderstorms that thrill my soul, but the price of admission is too high. Yes, I can see the tomatoes growing, but it’s too horrible to go out and defend their honor, picking the hideous bugs and grubs and caterpillars that appear like harpies, to devour or torment that which I would harvest.
I long for tolerance, to acclimate, but each summer is a fresh new hell.
Sure, I can remember swimming, body surfing, blissfully playing in the waves of a warm ocean, in the evening, with the sun setting in the wrong direction, but that comes later on, after I am broken by the months of high temperatures and air so devoid of available oxygen that I live totally indoors, air conditioned loudly to a freakishly unnatural cold.
The ratio of good to awful is way, way off.
I am aware that I am tainted, having known that climate can be another way. But I cannot un-know it. And I am really, really hard-pressed to rise to the occasion of fully functional productivity when you are summer. Because you suck.
Your winters I love. Will even miss, when I am no longer subjected to that spectrum of tantrums you call weather. Your Fall? Over-rated. A blessed relief that summer is over, and a month or two before the winter heating bills kick in. Tree leaves turning brilliant colors? Very pretty, but not worth living through summer. Spring? A marathon for those of us foolish and forgetful enough to garden, to get ready for the unbearable gauntlet of summer.
I am the stranger in a strange land. So much beauty, but bugs will bite you, hard, to within a millimeter of your itch tolerance if you think you can go outside and enjoy it.
I like fireflies, magic incarnate. They are worth being eaten alive by mosquitoes to observe, on a blanket on the lawn with your one true love. Also tequila or fine champagne helps.
I think about the people who have lived in these woods before me, before central air conditioning and tequila and fine champagne. I admire them! But also, they didn’t know there was any other way to live. I assume they had a larger perspective — one that, after four years here, still eludes me.
I want out.
But still, it is green, and greening. May’s color.