Florida, you have lost my message. I sent it to you back in July, when my blood was roasting in my veins. Remember? No? Well.
My blood is still roasting.
When I came home from Mexico, my garden was overrun. I picked dozens of cherry tomatoes, found the watermelon vines in the very act of a coup, and jalapenos and banana peppers too. I ran out to the garden and it was dark. We had just driven for three days to get home. It was late. 10pm. And I had left things tidy and normal out there, weeds picked, heirloom beans to dry out so I could harvest their seeds, everything watered, when we left in early July.
But it had rained and rained in July.
And life had gone wild, vining long and rebellious through my tidy mulch. Weeds had sprung up in mockery of my absence. Fruit ripened, fell to rot, and more ripened. I had my work cut out. I stood there that night with a colander full of produce and shook my head in wonder.
And then the heat hit. Weeks and weeks of relentless heat. A couple of weeks with no rain. Our AC stopped working and was too expensive to fix right away. But before it broke, I had told you that I needed fall. A proper fall at the proper time. Our AC is still not working. Nothing grows well for me in August and early September. I feel that the seeds, the plants know that I am not all in. I am wishing for another season. I am cheating on summer in my heart.
So where is it? Have you no heart? Fall would be the medicine to my soul. The inspiration for my words. The change this gypsy heart needs.
I hear you laughing. You are saying not til November.
You can’t do this to me.
Oh Calgon, take me a…to some place with fall. I need leaves and cool air and golden dusk and pumpkins. I need a reason for hot coffee and butternut squash soup and to pull my dusty merino skeins out of their confused basket and cable-knit some socks. I need to hole up and hibernate, to ponder deep and rich the growth of the last season. To turn it over and over in my mind, to compost my prayers, let my heart shed her leaves, leave the piles be, settle in for quiet and cold.
My entire being is weary of hot. I love you Florida, you’ll always be one of my homes, my first home, but I have changed. We have gone our ways, you and I. Your ceiling is too low. Those years in the Midwest sealed fall in my heart and I am spinning dizzily around in the heat, searching for her signs.