I am in LA while work is being done on my house in Duluth. It is an understatement to say it has been hot. The kind of heat that makes everything hard and getting outside is a far away dream a very hot far away dream. It’s funny after all those years growing up in Florida and dealing with the heat, I thought I liked the heat. Now as opposed to ass biting cold I do enjoy being hot rather than cold but being too hot is a miserable and dangerous situation if you can’t get away from it.
But, I like to walk and I love to be outside. Here where you would think it an easy thing to do can’t understand the nature of heat in the city. When we have heat in Duluth it is the kind of hot you may hate but it’s equally the kind of hot that doesn’t exist as soon as you move out of the direct sun and say move under a tree. Immediately there is a break from the insane heat and your body relaxes. It is one of my favorite things, that moment when the breeze moves the heat out of way, even if just for a second. Here the heat seems to chase you.
Yesterday again ass kicking hot I went to find a cafe to hide in and was going to see a movie, both good indoor activities. So I don’t know what possessed me but I changed my mind mid route to the movies and for some insane reason kept walking. I was just too early I guess and headed instead to a my favorite bookstore. It’s the only one I know like the ones in Paris, a book store for readers, books for the art of reading not just for entertainment. You know what I mean if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was not a smart move as it was already mid-day and busting ass hot.
Driven by the heat I instinctively became aware of every street along the way that had shade trees and would walk that direction. The rest of the way there and back I walked on street after street under the shade of the most magnificent trees . Some were so big as to bridge the road making an umbrella that stretched for blocks. Before I knew it I was there hot but not dead.
The walk back after the wonderful hours sent perusing the shelves was made all the less horrible as I remembered my trail of shaded streets. I quickly stopped in a cafe for an iced chai for the walk back as the heat outside the shop was overwhelming. I had to walk a few steps in the heat to cross the intersection and I hurried towards the shaded streets.
Outside I was surrounded by the noise of the traffic and as I turned the corner I was all alone on a quiet street surrounded by trees. It was like stepping into a fantasy world. I felt the wind and I become aware of the breeze making the leaves sing a tune and suddenly another gust and the air was alive with birds. For a moment it was as if I wasn’t in LA at all but a street I knew not where. But I was somewhere on the planet lost in a magical moment surrounded by trees.