I’m ready for fall because this summer has felt relentless. Today’s ninety degrees might sound mild, compared to the year’s earlier high temperatures, but the air is so thick with humidity that I feel out-of-breath. What’s more, the yard’s mosquitoes no longer confine their activity to dusk. They descend in a visible cloud as soon as I set foot outside, and they seem immune to repellents.
Twenty minutes was all I could stand, this afternoon. Then I fled to my office, immensely grateful for the luxury of air-conditioning and fans. Grateful, also, for books and computers and sleepy cats.
And when I say “grateful”, I’m talking about the marrow-deep, guilty gratitude that comes from acknowledging my unearned leisure.
I cannot embrace a purposeless world, one ruled by selfish survival and numb probability. And yet, I can’t deny the powerful evidence of observation. Fate does appear random. Life is decidedly unfair. Very bad things happen to very good people, while very good things have happened to me even though I have done nothing extraordinary. Who am I, to deserve these gifts of comfort and freedom? And what should I do with them?