It is July

DenaJuly 17, 2022

It is the second week of July. The air is thick & sweet with moisture and the scent of thriving leaves. The little, wooded path that we walk on daily is reaching its peak of wildness.

Everything is thick and green. There are gnats and mosquitoes that buzz in our ears and if I close my eyes, for a moment it is as though I am back in the jungle on Mount Kenya. The humid air pulls little beads of sweat from the bridge of my nose. The shade is glorious. The sun is vicious, just 2 minutes in it, and I feel my shoulders warm to a singed pink.

Even here, there are signs of what is waiting just around the corner. There has not been much rain this season. The trees with shallow roots have already begun to drop their too-dry leaves. Little rivers of the yellow leaves pool up along the edges of the path. It isn’t long until autumn. My favorite season. My heart quickens with the thought of it.

But I will myself back here, to this gorgeous, thick heat that I loathe. Because secretly I love it. Because I remember how I longed for these days not long ago when the cruel winds of winter kept me bound inside the house with the twins; how it felt suffocating and impossible; how the doctor said end-stage renal failure; how I begged God to just get us through to the other side of it.

Now here I am, on the other side of winter. I am free. I can tolerate the heat. The heat holds promise. There is the lake and the sea and the swimming pool. There are cold drinks filled with ice cubes that form a cold fog on the glass, so that when you hold it in your hand your palm is washed with the cold wetness of it—What a joy! What a gift!—cold, wetness against my hand and I bring it to my lips and the cold sweetness runs over my lips and into my mouth. Heaven! Paradise!

It is summer. I am free. I am alive. I am walking along the little, wooded path, pushing the stroller. The babies are quiet, oh the luxury in quiet. Oh, how there is beauty in every season. Oh, how there have been so many hard seasons, back to back to back to back. But look at me, look at my strong legs, and my strong back, and my strong shoulders—thick and strong and weathered by the weight that I have carried through these seasons. And still shaped into something so beautiful, so imperfect, so luminous.

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