Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Temperatures here in central Oklahoma have been hot as the hubs of Hades this last week or so. It was just as hot last night, humidity causing it to feel like the inside of a steam cabinet. When I turned on the water hose to cool things down, a beautiful luna moth flew to a nearby tree. Since this is the first such moth I can remember seeing since I was a child, I rushed to get my camera.

After dark, I lit the Tiki torches by my pool and played with my two pugs, Princess and Scooter, in the backyard. The night was magical, a breeze fluttering the tree branches. There were also dancing shadows and the sound of ice tinkling in a large glass. I don’t know if it was a spirit, but the sound was suddenly behind me, and then to my side.

Marilyn’s morning glories and moon flowers haven’t bloomed but the foliage has grown up over the back fence of my pool. We blamed my Mom, joking that her spirit prevented the plants from blooming until my Father joined her. This is a funny explanation but one I don’t believe. There are no bees this year. I heard on NPR that many hives have succumbed to a virus. Without pollinators, there are no blossoms.

It was still almost a hundred degrees when I went walking today at six. Because the trees are stressed by the lack of water, dried leaves cover the sidewalks, making it look almost like fall. Temperatures belie the fact that it is anything other than summer. As I walked up Coltrane, I found a turtle that had crossed the road and then was too exhausted or too small to crawl up over the lip. I picked it up and sat it on the sidewalk, out of the road. It looked at me a moment, as if to see what I was going to do, and then hurried away into the shelter of nearby trees.

Upon returning from my walk, Patch wagged his tail and licked the salt off my arms, happy to see me. I was also happy to see him, but sad that Lucky and Velvet are no longer alive.

My Maine Coon cat Rouge also disappeared and the neighbor that owns Fang came and got him and took him to Pennsylvania with him. A bag of cat treats still sits by the front door, awaiting a new cat to delight. Marilyn called me as I was resting at the kitchen table.

“Looks like the heat got your big moth,” she said, pointing at a spot on the sidewalk.

The big luna moth had indeed succumbed and lay stretched out, as if in life, on the hot cement. I don’t know the life expectancy of a luna. A week? A month? It made me think about my Dad, and dogs and cats. Nothing lasts forever. We only exist for what period of time is allotted us. The turtle would probably still be alive long after I am dead and gone. My time will be shorter, but like the luna moth, it will be enough.


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