And then, I got off the plane in St. Louis.
Today, snow was not on my mind. Today required gloves, not the kind for snowball fights. The kind used to avoid blisters when you touch the steering wheel. A day so hot you couldn’t wear shorts because you’d fry the back of your thighs climbing into your car. But I hadn’t worn shorts on the plane, so I was sweaty hot, not scalding hot in the rental.
The weather, especially when you are not accustomed to it, chains you with oppression. An unjust smothering, sticky weight between teasing, gasping breezes. Sweltering, entrenched among the horizon-leaning rows of Midwest farm corn. Today, I am dripping and tugging at my tee, yearning for stiff wind and a baby-bathwater warm rain. It is hot, hot, hot. The kind of hot that when night falls, brown recluse spiders just weakly nod and tell you to poison yourself.
And then there are bugs. Gnats? Fleas? Corn chiggers? I’m not up on my entomology. I do know they stick to sweat like gravel dust to a damp windshield. Mosquitoes—and they raise ‘em big here—are my real nemesis. We maintain a rocky, turbulent, yet intimate relationship. If they aren’t trying to kill me, I am trying to kill them.
I have since learned to identify wasps, hornets, and other nasty flying kamikaze critters. If mosquitoes are infantry, hornets and wasps are where the insect military really invests. Those little bastards are unmistakable and maintain a take-no-prisoners approach to farm and field warfare. Kill or be killed. I often wonder if the survivors sit around in little wasp bars, chugging wasp beers, and talking about that time they nearly got knocked out of the sky by a broom.
Excerpt from Sublimity’s Treasure available in paperback or eBook.