Sunday, July 12, 2009


We experience many different weather phenomena here on the north shore. Everything from simple dew to frost, fog, rain, snow, sleet; everything from gentle wafting breezes to gale-force winds. All of them leave some kind of visible "calling card" - only the wind is essentially invisible. Still, we are always aware of its presence, as Christina Rossetti so famously put it:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

So even though it's not a solid thing to be seen, we feel like we actually do see the wind, too. But what about humidity? There is no visible difference between yesterday's oppressive morning and this one, which dawned bright and refreshing. Apparently, no on can see the humidity.

Then I thought about how it felt yesterday, when the humidity was way up there. I don't know what the actual percentage was, but what do numbers matter when the air feels so close it's like someone is literally breathing down your neck, and every other part of you. And people aren't the only ones feeling it. The cats stretched themselves out, being uncharacteristically quiet all day. The new dishtowel I put out felt limp, even though is just came from the dryer, my Bic pen slid differently across the paper, and the ink even looked different, darker, bolder, against the white. And when I didn't like what I'd written, and balled the paper up, it crinkled without making a sound. This morning, the summer humidity is back down to tolerable levels; I could tell that the instant I woke. Over coffee I started thinking about it. It may not be as poetic to think of a limp dishtowel in place of wind-tossed trees, but the evidence of humidity's invisible presence is just as "visible" as that of the wind. But I don't think I want to write a poem about it. And if I did, it would probably be a really cranky, whiny
one. High humidity isn't a thing to wax poetic about around here - just ask Elliott.


YogaforCynics said...

I used to see humidity in the mirror when my hair would go completely wild...then it got that way permanently...don't know if that makes any sense...

gautami tripathy said...

I am facing the humid weather here!

that thin line

Sylvia K said...

Love the Rosseti words! And what a beautiful, breathtaking shot! Ah, but then there is the humidity! We don't have a lot of high humidity here in Seattle even though we're right on the water! I felt a lot more when I lived in Texas and can relate with your dark haired friend there, move only when you have to!!

Lin said...

how funny to have a cat that reflects the humidity. we have little here until the monsoons some then it builds. a poem about humidity now that would be a challenge. LOL!

bobbie said...

I do feel sorry for our furry friends in humid weather. And sorrier for myself. I do not do well with humid. Can't breathe.

Annie said...

Dry climate here with only very occasional humidity. But, when humidity makes its presence felt, it is very visible on me - lank hair, flushed complexion, weariness.

Rose said...

Nor here either...I mean not a thing to be poetic about. Ours was down some today also. It was at least bearable to be outside.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, We're home after a wonderful weekend in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains. I'll post in the morning.

The humidity here can be horrible in the summer--at times. Even when it's not that hot, IF it's humid, I can get horribly sweaty!!! Yuk!

Hope you had a great weekend.

Sue said...

I would imagine our humidity levels in the Kentucky mountains are a bit higher than yours most summers, but this one has been better than most after a very wet spring.