Ubiquitous Inferno of Summer

I peer out my windows and dream of reclining on the front porch, becoming one with the antique rod iron couch (nearly the size of a twin bed!) that is pleasantly festooned with the world's most comfortable cushions. I toy with the thought of sprawling out, with a glass of iced tea and a tome, enjoying the view of pure white beams framing the lush green leaves of my maple tree. I can see the grape vine lights casting their soft glow around me as I lazily flip the pages of a poetry book or intriguing novel, lost in the depths of my own imagination as I travel through those pages to distant lands. The sounds of the numerous wind chimes would enchant my ears, a tune played as if by Wee Folk hidden within the ferns and petunias in the flowerbeds beyond.

The beguilement is sadistically shattered when I open my front door! The heat of summer rolls upon me, a wave of searing oppression which threatens to suck the air from from my lungs and roast my hide. My flowers sag from the temperature and loss of water. The birds have been driven into the shadows. The street becomes nothing more than a twisted charade of a river; heat rolls off the still black surface, threatening to scorch bare feet. There is no breeze - no escape from this ubiquitous inferno, sans a swimming pool or the cool confines of the first floor of my home, and I am reminded of a poignant veracity or two - mainly that (1.) we do not possess a swimming pool, and (2.) we live in a two-story home, and all our hobby areas are upstairs.

So, I retreat to the dark confines of my office, avowing to have an industrial-sized air conditioning unit installed by next year (damn the electric bill), and grudgingly procuring every fan we posses just to keep myself from becoming nauseated by heatstroke.

I can still enjoy reading, at the very least, and I share with you my journey with Keats this afternoon:

Endymion (Excerpts) Book I
John Keats (1795-1821)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make'
Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast;
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now, at once adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

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