Smoothly, we've transitioned out of summer's brutality, into gentler dog days, highs in the mid-nineties. A relenting.
I'm not easily daunted by mere weather. You may remember my dispatches from Dubai, Oman, and Abu Dhabi. I've trekked through the blistering Sahara, and have generally worn a smile, and a brow beaded with sweat.
But this summer was something different. Something sinister and cruel, hastening the end of century-old trees and once-proud lawns. There is an agreement amongst most of the Texans of my generation: this was the worst one yet: islands rising in the center of the lake, uncovering terrible secrets (so I hear, I know better than to watch the 5-o'clock news). It's enough to make a landscape architect reconsider the entire vocation.
I'd do better to while away my days raking patterns into sandy zen gardens, wearing a loose, white robe.
But then, that is the effect of the weather, a constant reminder that we are not in the driver's seat of this life, but rather all passengers on a strange and unpredictable rollercoaster of sorts.
There is so much happening, always so much action, hedged in between sleepy mornings and evenings of dancing and dreaming.
We all get older, and incubate new life inside us, and cultivate wondrous things. And go through the daily motions.
Birthdays of the living and the dead rise up and fall away, and the rest of us just keep moving to our own little beat.
My heart beats with each of you, a little "lub-dub" symphony. You all cross my mind, and I smile a little brighter.
There is so much ahead, and so much behind. And perhaps, one day I will stop being vague and just out with it, a laundry list of day-to-day doings.
In the meantime, there is love and life. I feel you out there through all of it.