Then I slept for a much longer time than I'd expected, not finally getting up until after noon. I must be caught up on the sleep I've missed recently now. I barely had time to get ready to go shopping, and some lingering fuzziness of brain might have had something to do with the fact that I ended up overspending. The other thing that contributed was that the grocery outlet had some of that cold-brewed coffee that I liked so much last time they had it in stick, and I bought ten quarts of it. That sounds like a lot, but it was only $9.90 worth. The nephew will probably guzzle the greater part of it, but as I intend to squirrel away a few containers where he won't find them it should still last me well into September.
The high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be a mere 83, and the low tonight 63, so this is when I'll finally get to be genuinely cool for a while— or as cool as I can reasonably expect to be in global-warmed California in the middle of August. Now I'll be able to sit in the back yard in daylight and watch the walnut crop grow. There are quite a few this year— more than last year, but probably not as many as in the bumper crop of the previous year. One squirrel has already tried harvesting some of them, even though they aren't ripe yet, but I doubt it has made much of a dent in this ample crop.
While there is undoubtedly still some very hot weather ahead, at least the nights are predicted to be fairly cool for the next ten days, and whatever lies beyond that I can sense the end of summer approaching. It is a great relief. I'll be so glad to be rid of this sultry season, and anticipate the first rains with delight. I hope they come early.
Loss and Gain
by Geoffrey Hill
Pitched high above the shallows of the sea
lone bells in gritty belfries do not ring
but coil a far and inward echoing
out of the air that thrums. Enduringly,
fuchsia-hedges fend between cliff and sky;
brown stumps of headstones tamp into the ling
the ruined and the ruinously strong.
Platonic England grasps its tenantry
where wild-eyed poppies raddle tawny farms
and wild swans root in lily-clouded lakes.
Vulnerable to each other the twin forms
of sleep and waking touch the man who wakes
to sudden light, who thinks that this becalms
even the phantoms of untold mistakes.