It’s dangerously hot/humid (heat index) outside in Durham, NC right now.  It’s warmer worldwide, this decade than last, we all know.   Ice core tell no lies.   Too bad ice cores can’t speak for themselves and appear on programs like Rush Limbaugh’s  radio show.

What do we know about Siberian climate change?.    What matters most to Durham Cool readers?   What’s the weather like in Durham NC or  rural Russia? You tell me.

Can anyone say walking from an air conditioned environment into Durham’s mid summer day is like walking into a pizza oven?  I just got back from ABQ and though the mercury reached 100F on several consecutive days the humidity is so low (high desert conditions) that I was comfortable walking around in long sleeves and jeans.   Man is it humid in Durham right now! We have lived here long enough to grow accustomed, yet..

We don’t have flooding in Durham, though our precipitation has been higher already than last year  by this date.  Counting our blessings.  My home town, Ithaca NY, the place where the clouds go to die,  is under very strict water shortage. City leaders indicate they are down to a very low 30 day supply. My mom, who continues to reside in Tinytown tells me the water is coming out liquid brown from every faucet in the house.  Say a prayer for rain for our friends in Ithaca New York. Pray for relief for our flooded friends in Louisiana.

Have you noticed the heat’s effect on ants for instance?  I have included a link to an academic research paper on the subject but just anecdotally sharing a few amateur entomologist field notes.

Ants are eager to get inside air conditioned environments this summer at almost any cost.    I have observed trail after trail coming in for scraps of food that an electron microscope would have difficulty finding.  I have employed tea tree oil at the entre points outside and cleaning up all available counter surfaces and sinks after every meal.  I know that Borax or fumigation would napalm the entire colony but i am a practicing Buddhist and a lifetime admirer of ants remarkable abilities.  I recall walking by  world renowned entomologist, Thomas Eisner, on the gentle slopes of Cornell’s  agricultural campus,  observing, up close, ant colonies in their natural setting. When the rains come, cooling down the first inch of topsoil, they go back to foraging in outdoor places for food.  Anyone that lives in Durham knows about our hard pack red clay.  Pine trees love the red nutrient rich red clay.

Nature has a way of restoring balance and right now we (hominids) have assumed without merit, IMHO, eminent domain over nature for too long,  The earth is fighting back. Time to observe natural events and the ecosystems for cues and clues.  I think we all “feel”that the  world is out of balance.  The Hopi  Indians have a term, Koyanisqatsi,  for what we are experiencing right now in the modern world, life out of balance.  Some might remember the  film of the same title by composer, Philip glass.

What can we do?  One very important lesson in all of this is, don’t lose perspective.   The kitchen is on fire so this is not a great time to go out and shop for a new refrigerator. Grab an extinguisher and put out the fire first.

It is time however, to heed the warning signs. We have been dulled into a stupor by television and alcohol.  You can still wake up. One very important activity you may begin to employ in your life is the routine  practice of stilling  your body and mastering  your mind.  How will this help? When your mind is unsettled and your grappling in the external world, as it is observed, you’re experiencing a swirl of overwhelming disorder.  This is only exacerbated by the 24 hour news cycle. It is critical that you have some kind of mind organizing practice. There is a reason why you hear so many news articles ,  Neuro research on the subject of meditation.  See buried lead.  Earth scientists are busy collecting data.   We, Durhammites might know that’s hot out there. What is the first step towards finding a suitable solution?

The ants are feeling it too so give them some space and empathy. Call it antapthy,  not to be confused with antipathy. Practice integrated pest  management.  Use essential oil’s rather than Raid.

Next Time you need a beer, head to Patanjali’s place instead.  Check the Durham Meetup groups for a meditation group.  Check out Durham Cool’s sister website, the Yin of Durham Cool’s Yang, I Ching Guidance for a reading and relevant articles on meditation.

Very important lesson to learn by close observation  of ants. When ants  are presented with an obstacle they work together to find a way around the obstacle and continue their marching pace in line.  Ants share food each to each with gentle kisses as they pass.  Scent trails are laid leading back to the nest.   Ants march in line so no one is left behind. They are not deterred by obstacles they find a way to work around them. A wise lesson for all of us.