Progress, I suppose
There is no way there are golden retrievers in the Amazon.
I watch my wooly golden girl on humid days
as she walks slowly, heavily, even her whiskers droop.
She gives me a mournful look as we get back to the house
clearly asking if we can move further north than our Minnesota home.
It’s hard to argue with her logic
working here at my desk in rainforest conditions.
The new dog* fares better—youth and a thinner coat
give him more leeway, at least until he zooms around
and pants with locomotive vigor.
There is so much hot moisture in the air
it almost makes sense to add some essential oils
and try to enjoy the sauna.
Instead, we carry on as if this weather didn’t matter.
Air conditioners hum in office buildings
where many people are expected to wear “nice” clothes.
But glasses fog in the transition.
And we wilt and adjust to conditioned air and back again.
Six months from now the same will be true in reverse.
Again, as if the environment were an afterthought,
we step inside to dry warmed air, rushing in from the cold.
All of this is progress I suppose, having figured out
how to adjust temperatures and humidity
in order keep ourselves close to neutral.
Cocooned in our zone of comfort.
But I wonder what gets lost
if we abandon our willingness to step into each day,
whatever the conditions.
Surrendering to some discomfort
in order to be outside, connected to this wild world we call home.
Alive and aware, senses awakened to the nuances of every season.
Seeing glimpses and signs of the winged migrants,
the hearty and the hibernating who also live here–
outside…or in the house down the block.
*It’s true, Tuu Weh has an understudy. Meet Summitt (named for the University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach, Pat Summitt). And while his resume was solid and he interviewed well, let’s just say this young guy has “a ways” to go before he is speaker dog material. (His first day with us involved 4 walks, a 3 mile run, and by bedtime, he was standing on the kitchen counter!) Tuu Weh has plenty of job security.