Windy summer days are gifts, their bursts of cool air a welcome relief to my perpetually damp middle-aged skin. I stand on the side of the house where the gusts are strongest and raise my arms a bit, allowing it to wash over me in much the same way water does as I swim. It’s soothing.
I hold my face to the sky feeling the warmth and breathe deeply, completely content, and want the moment to last longer than it does.
I think I should get my book and sit in the sun — perhaps nap a minute or two. There’s a place on the front steps behind the hedge where I can open my sand chair and somewhat hide from the neighbors as they pass, noticing that they try not to look my way. But no, there’s someone coming to talk about a fence for the back yard, and knowing he’ll come through the house, I dart from one pile to the next, picking up, tossing away, sweeping, and scooping. With as little effort as possible, I, too, can still pretend like I might be Martha occasionally.
I slide open most of the windows, giving the stuffy warm air in the house a reason to escape while it has the chance and pause long enough at the top of the stairs to look around, deciding that I’ll stay in and feel the breeze through the window next to my desk while I work.
I may not be able to feel the air move over my skin, but I can watch the thin branches on the trees in the back bend in the wind as I’m thinking, and see the unusual clouds change from one formation to the next.
I can go out and sit in my chair any time.
Besides, I’d have ended up even more sweaty than I already am and once the wind dies down, my only option will be to open the freezer and insert my face, hoping that will cool me down. It’s a fairly weak option compared to the relief a windy summer day provides, and it’s far less dramatic, but in a pinch, it’s better than feeling like I’m the main ingredient in a rather hearty brine.
Think about it: pickles are always better chilled, aren’t they?