2018 Summer Holiday – Part 2: Sulfur & Stale Smoke

We’ve postponed our holiday for a few weeks and are in wait-and-see mode. Our trailer gives us a flexibility that we wouldn’t have if we were still tent-camping.

Wildfires seem to be a part of our summers now, and no matter well we seal up our little cottage the smell still creeps in through the cracks. I can feel it coating my teeth like a gritty slime that no amount of rinsing will get rid of.

It’s called PM2.5, fine particulate matter, a nice bloodless scientific descriptor, but really it’s all that’s left of the forests and grasses that have been swept down across the province by the infrequent breezes. A fine layer of grey dust, soot, coats anything left outside for more than an hour or so.

The sun and moon rise, each in their turn, stained a bloody orange, and set just as sullied.

Every so often I go out and sniff the air just to remind myself that it smells much worse out there than inside.

I don’t stay out for long.

The leaves on the Summer Tree hardly move. Last night I ventured out to water the garden and sprayed down its leaves. A tiny little wren flew onto one of the branches and had a shower, flapping her wings as she would in a birdbath, to make the drops fall from the leaves all around her. I smiled and got all teary at the same time.

I’ll do it again tonight.

I hope Wren told her friends.