It’s another hot night. The air outside my open window is so still it’s full of cliches. It’s so dry goannas are carrying waterbags. I have lost count of how many sweltering days and hot nights we have had but it has been well above 35 degrees celcius every day since before Christmas. But that’s not evidence of climate change, says my dad. Summer is always hot. Never mind that of the 16 days we’ve had above 40 degrees since 1901 there have been 5 of them in the past two weeks!
It’s hotter than a shearer’s armpit.
I can’t sleep. My doona was kicked off the bed weeks ago and now even the thought of wearing a nightie makes me sweat. The fan keeps me awake, so I turn it off and wait for a breath of cool air to sneak through the window. Then a dog barks just as I start dozing. I bet she is hot too. Maybe I should go out in the yard and sleep in the kennel.
In the distance I can hear the traffic on the highway. An endless stream of semi-trailers carrying stuff up and down the highway between Melbourne and Sydney. I could sleep in one of their air-conditioned cabins and if I was quiet as a mouse they wouldn’t even know I was there.
Some insect is making a noise outside, but even she is finding it too hot to put much effort into it. An occasional cricket chirp as she tosses and turns in the long grass. I should mow, but the days are too hot and the grass isn’t growing much anyway. Even though we get rain every now and then we are still in drought. The Bureau of Meteorology says the last 12 months have been in the 90th percentile of driest years on record. Only 7 times have we recorded less rainfall than 2018.
A plover screeches in the distance. I don’t even know if that’s the right word to describe a plover’s call. More like a cack cack cack. It always reminds me of the nightmares I had when I was a child. On hot still nights the plovers would call out in my dreams. Luring me across the paddock where they would attack as my legs became stuck in the mud. I would try and stay awake then rather than have those plovers visit me in my sleep. They still make me anxious.
So hot you have to feed the chooks ice blocks so they don’t lay hard boiled eggs.
Hot nights are not helpful for my anxiety and depression. It starts a cycle where I get anxious because I can’t fall asleep and then start worrying about all the things I can’t do during the day because I’m too tired. Writing helps, but even then I get anxious when I write in my journal rather than working on bigger projects. So I’m writing a piece for my blog instead and then I might go an have a cold shower before climbing back into bed.
The plovers have gone, the dog has stopped barking and the cricket has gone back to sleep. Maybe I will be able to sleep now as well. I tell myself that every night, but at least I try to start every day with a smile.
Love Molly xx