The body was feverish. The throat felt parched. Perspiration drenched the face, stung the eyes and smeared my eyeglasses. The absence of even the slightest of breezes brought out my worst feelings of aversion about summertime. It was time to take a break from trimming the shrubbery.
Before the eyes adapted to the interior of the house, they perceived darkness. The skin detected the cooler air. The ice water tasted like nectar of the gods. Leaning against the kitchen countertop, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment. What a relief!
I found myself daydreaming about a crisp, generic, Nebraska, January morning. Coupled with the physical sensations of relief, the mental imagery completed the act of refreshment. I mindfully continued to indulge the fantasy until I deemed it time to finish the outdoors task.
To escape with wishful thinking and fantasy is a normal human trait. Sometimes, this is not something done in vain. If not done habitually as an escape from one’s responsibilities, it’s OK. Such mindful daydreaming reminds us of our preferences and whether we’ve fulfilled them or not. Such thinking is a harmless, legal vice.
There is at least one personal characteristic that is enhanced in summertime, the desire to nap. When the heat and humidity are at their most unpleasant levels, the luxury of a lazy nap on the sofa is sublime. There is more refreshment in such a nap than all of the iced tea ever brewed. The calm and silence nourishes the mind, and enables contentment with life. Part of the beauty of my last nap was the continuation of imagining that I was enjoying a crisp January morning.
To find refuge inside, where it is cool and dark allows inspiration to flourish and creativity to emerge. To me, such conditions are the perfect refreshment.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes businessman and theologian, Joseph B. Wirthlin. “Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls.”