I live in a place where most of the year the ground is soft, where the edges are blurred by a multitude of greens. When I was a child, even the summers were mild and wet. But in recent years, the heat has lasted longer and burned harder. Now when I run barefoot through the park, dust coats my toes and the grass crunches under my feet. I hold my breath till the rain comes, waiting for the unrelenting cascade of grotesquely perfect days to end. The dryness is made all the more palpable by the absurd irony of longing for what in the past was dreaded: winter. I miss the cozy clouds. The endless blue of the sky feels oppressive in its openness. Every morning I look up, hoping for some sort of change, some sort of relief. I am terrified the rain will never come again. Dust is a poor substitute for mud.