It’s hot. It unbelievably hot. It’s my-eye-makeup-is-now-on-my-neck kind of hot.
West Coast heat is dry, yet semi-avoidable in the shade. East Coast humidity is unreal and follows me into my lungs. It curls my hair around its clammy fingers and creates beads of sweat in unknown crevices of my body. It sticks around until 4 am, and returns at 9 the same morning.
But, the summer’s unrelenting heat allows for some breathtaking sunsets and a never-ending reel of memories featuring sand framed toes. There are perfect moments that blossom when it’s this hot — like when you remember you hid that pint of Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream in the freezer or know there is a refreshing jar of cold-brewed Kenyan Gold waiting for you in the fridge.
This Far Leaves tea from Kenya is one of my favorites. The flavor is reminiscent of the roasted barley Korean tea my mom used to keep chilled in a pitcher in the refrigerator. It is subtle, earthy and incredibly refreshing. It’s a humble tea and doesn’t require any sugar or fruit to enhance it; it’s perfect hot or iced depending on the season or time of day.
It’s been a long day gallivanting bare foot at a local park; new tan lines have been drawn onto my shoulders and more friends have been made. I am now in my living room where my hair is damp from a cold shower and my cold-brewed tea sweats in my hand. The lights are off and the windows are open. At 9 pm on the last night of July, it’s warm outside, so I sit still and harvest any breeze that ventures in.
Without the AC roaring in the background, I hear cicadas singing choruses in the branches right outside as my dog snores beside me. I take another sip and, a smile is fixed on my lips. I think about the little girl with a pink bucket hat dancing to the music or the families enjoying the view of the bay front. I remember how green the leaves have become and how light crackled on top of the lake. My eyes are heavy from the sights and drunk from a day in the sun. I finish up the last of my tea and get ready for a new month.