Yesterday's house viewings: One decaying bungalow that needs to be stripped down to the studs and completely reconstructed. (No.) One teeny-tiny cape heavily scented with Glade, decorated with American flags, warrened with bizarre add-ons (e.g., a washer-dryer closet cut into the garage), and no visible way to access the furnace. (No.)
This evening we get a day off from house shopping. Instead, I'm going to drive to my yoga class because I don't think I can walk four miles round trip in 90-degree heat and also manage to stay alive during the class. For some reason, this weather has squelched me. I wonder if there's some kind of coastal ozone thing that's making me limper than usual. Fortunately, after today the heat is supposed to break, and by the weekend we'll return to regular old Maine dampness.
On Saturday evening I'll be reading with Adrian Blevins in the Lowry's Lodge Poetry Series, 7 p.m., at the Continuum for Creativity on Main Street in Westbrook. Adrian is a creative writing professor at Colby and she's originally from Appalachian Virginia. So expect some mountain poems from both of us. You'll also get a chance to lay eyes on my parents, who will be visiting us over the weekend. I tried to convince them to do something more interesting than attend my reading, but they insisted.
Today: more editing, more ice tea, more torpid cats, more exhausted husbands, more dinners at 8:30 p.m. to avoid heating up the doll-house. More small winds, like blessings.
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors: the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven–
Their bases on the mountains–their white tops
Shining in the far ether–fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer’s eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life! Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes;
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
The deep distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod gayly to each other; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.