Bare Bones Biology 361 – Air

I tend to sleep in the afternoon, especially if it’s hot and I’ve been working. Bitsy woke me up. Was someone here? Or was it the redbird perched in the cedar tree outside the open window? I don’t know. Sleep hard; half-deaf; Bitsy was trying to tell me something, but I don’t know. One day when that happened I didn’t wake up at all, and later found a note by the place where the door should be. I imagine Bitsy having a conversation with our visitor, but I didn’t get to.

 

In our safe place in the mountain canyon, it was snowing yesterday. My closest neighbor (about half a mile) phoned. She was snowed in, two inches, temperature below freezing, and called to tell me not to try the road. It’s washed out at the culvert. The sky is blue-blue; the air is clean, clear, crystal. And cold.

And here was I at the Little Thicket, in the Brazos Valley of Texas, sitting at my little table with the door open, watching the wrens flit to and fro and the Biosystem breathe.

 

Or try to.

 

It was sticky-hot the day before, and my skin said somewhere above 90 and maximally humid. Cars drove with lights on; you could see the yellow air, see into it, but not through it. Like Los Angeles used to be.

 

The whole Earth Biosystem is breathing, and this morning – maybe it was trying to cough out the hot, sticky Gulf air, sick air full of homo-toxins from Houston and Mexico City and the Valley of the Shadow of the Oil well that runs all the way up the left-center of Texas and the right side of NM nearly to the mountains, and from the Gulf of Mexico where the water flowing into the Gulf is so toxic that residents who can afford it buy distilled water to rinse after washing.

 

But the Biosystem can’t cough. So then this morning, the cool front of relatively clean air from the northwest, from the direction of our safe canyon, swept overhead, releasing the power and energy of its going as it dug under the warm air from the Gulf, pitched it up, swung it around, and pushed it back upon itself. Layers. Cool clouds rushing southeastward overhead; warm clouds higher up, rushing in the opposite direction. Everything moving, swirling, thrashing, and me out there with the new camera to my new eye, I had to regenerate my video skills, trying to catch the power, flow, excitement of the event.

Within an hour the inflow, downflow, cleansing, pushed on through and the sky is blue for a brief time. But tomorrow or the next day it will turn the color of skim milk, and then dirty cream as that yellow air filters back back northward, slowly, infiltrating the houses, hovering over the open fields, flowing around the little remaining pockets of woodlands where the trees and bushes are making oxygen faster than the bad air can filter in, until we have another day of heavy smog, and then another, filling my lungs again with homo-toxins, until the earth takes anoher breath, with the next cold front, and shoves it back down south again.

 

With every breath in the summer the air is warmer, and pushes farther up and north, until it pushes me and Bitsy back into our traveling rig and up to our safe place in the cold, clear, clean of the canyon.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_361_-_Air.mp3

 

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