It is the middle of the night. I am suddenly awake. I am in a sweat. My sheets are soaked. Is my heart beating rapidly, or am I just imagining that?
I’ve read about the signs of a heart attack. Which side of my body would be affected, again? Do I need an ambulance?
I throw off my covers, of which there are many. Immediately, I must admit I feel cooler. Hmm.
Maybe it’s not a heart attack after all. Could it be the second coming of menopause? Please, no: Once was a gajillion times enough. Perhaps it’s a mysterious disease for which, of course, there is no known cure.
Still, I must admit that I am feeling better. My clammy skin has begun to dry out again, returning to the marvelous Arizona-sucks-the-very-moisture-out-of-you-forever look.
And my heart was never really racing, was it?
It was not. And so if it was not any of the above scares, what was it that pulled me out of my dreams?
Turns out, just our Flagstaff spring weather.
Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional close of May. We’re used to spring surprises here in the north country. But, really. This past month was something else. With the holiday weekend came sunshine, and then a third winter storm in two weeks, enveloping Flagstaff and northern Arizona in clouds, sleet, snow and rain. That required an extra blanket or two, and, of course, returning to my flannel pajamas. And the heater kicked in. Whoops. That equals extra warmth.
So being thoroughly trained by this icy May weather, I was not ready to believe it was getting nice out again. And that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t need that seventh quilt and those sexy flannels.
Here is the humbling truth: Silly me, I created my own “night sweats.”
This week, sunshine reigns again, and many of us are wondering if we’re in the clear until the “real” monsoon season arrives in July. Remember those wet afternoons with buckets full of rain and skies full of lightening? (Yes, beginning in July not May!)
Meanwhile, neighbors, gardeners and friends are adjusting to this exaggerated spring weather. It’s the talk of the town. Who planted too early? What’s the best covering of said flowers planted too early? Can veggies other than greens make it through the night when frost creeps in during darkness?
And is it worth building one more fire in the fireplace or wood stove when you have so diligently cleaned those winter ashes, leaving the hearth pristine?
And the next most common late May/early June question: Why are our roads so quiet? How are we blessed with the special silence of our little mountain town? What is the mysterious explanation?
Oh, right! Our Northern Arizona University students have mostly gone home, leaving Flagstaff with a quietness we treasure. It’s a state of mind, really, one we know is short lived, soon to be replaced by the hustle and jostle of tourists making their way to the Grand Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks or our very cool downtown.
So as we enjoy this temporary respite from the great press of humanity, I may also appreciate my health anew. Next time I wake up sweating, I will check the number of blankets holding me down, rifle through my dresser for that summer nightie, and check out the window for evidence of tomorrow’s weather.
Will it be the dawning of another ice storm? Or of a windless June day, where flowers peek out absent of fear, children hop through sprinklers, and outdoor tables invite us to sit and enjoy?
Pass me the raspberry jam, please! And let’s not sweat the small stuff.