Actually, It’s not the Humidity

We’ve been in Mississippi for several days. Yes, it’s hot and yes, it’s humid, but not that much hotter and more humid than the Midwest. It doesn’t cool off as much at night as it does farther north, so I suppose the heat is a bit more oppressive down here.

There are two striking things that I have noticed. The first (which has nothing to do with heat and humidity) is the length of days (or lack thereof, as the case may be). Port Gibson is 10.5 degrees farther south than Sioux City. It’s a big enough difference to notice. The sun seems to go down early and come up late. Summer days aren’t as long as they are in Sioux City, and when it starts to get dark, it takes me by surprise.

But back to the weather: The second difference is the remarkable stillness of the air. I worked on my computer for much of yesterday morning in front of the picture window. Only a couple of times the air moved enough to stir the leaves. For the most part everything was deathly still. Yesterday morning wasn’t an anomaly; it’s the way it’s been most of the time since we’ve been here.

Where we live, out on the Missouri River plain, the wind moves constantly. It’s not that it’s constantly windy, but the air still moves and the leaves rustle. Even a couple hours of absolute stillness is a rarity.

Here in Port Gibson, my experience of the first week is not so much the heat nor the humidity, it’s the stagnant air that becomes nearly oppressive in its weight and stillness.