“O wind, rend open the heat, cut apart the heat, rend it to tatters.” – Heat, H.D
Hot weather makes me grumpy. During the heatwave, I found myself wilting faster than the pink roses on my windowsill, stifling in layers of fabric. In the garden, parched peonies were gasping for water, their stupid gaping faces turned expectantly towards the sky. They waited for a single cloud to loosen its grip on the rain, oblivious the fact that the BBC adamantly refused to forecast any wet weather. Idiots. Everything looked like a Salvador Dalí painting, like the melting clocks, or maybe that was just the heat pressing on my brain. You could just imagine the birds’ feet melting, too, gluing them to the branches beneath like hot sticky wax.
One day, the power cut out. The unshakeable optimist that I am, I immediately reconciled myself to living as a caveman forevermore, deprived of first world luxuries like WiFi or electric fans. (At least maybe I would finally write that novel). Without electricity I had to resort to that little origami fan decorated for me by the girls I work with after school, and I was doing quite well for myself, even if I couldn’t finish showing my cousin Anne of Green Gables on DVD. My positive outlook was shattered when I realised that the freezer wouldn’t be working either…the threat of lukewarm ice cream was simply too horrific to stomach. My little green village had turned into a wasteland, a canvas of beige and brown.
I longed for cool, peaceful nights, the kind when there’s a silky breeze and the face of the sky is freckled with stars. Instead, I was risking exposure to the night demons from horror films by casting aside the blankets. Instead, the heat that made me so sleepy during the day insisted on prodding me awake at five in the morning. Instead, I felt like a slowly roasted chicken, stewing in sweat and my vampyric hatred for sunshine.
On my mother’s birthday, we were discussing how best to move the tables for a surprise Arabic-style ‘restaurant’ in the garden, when I heard the first crack of thunder. A very fine sprinkling of rain ensued, before the sky pursed up its lips again just as I stepped outside. Some rain dance or Friday prayer had been answered somewhere because, all at once, the rain was unleashed – the first in almost 70 days. I stood there barefoot in the rain and ‘with hardship comes ease’ rung in my ears. We scrambled to rescue the outside cushions, laughing, with my skirt picking up the rainwater.
The day after the rain was followed with the most beautiful coolness. It brought with it relief and good news. The heatwave was over, to the distress of beach-goers everywhere but to my delight. Imran Khan, my childhood hero, was about to bring a breath of fresh air to Pakistani politics after years of corruption. And after 9 long months, my mum had laboured…to bring her educational app into the world as a businesswoman!
Now, colour begins to return to the grass, forming a patchwork quilt of green and gold. The wind is gusting in the trees and I feel no twang of nostalgia for hot weather. Good riddance to that.