The Facebook meme asked the question, “Name one thing that most people like that you dislike.” In the comments section, I typed, “summer”. The answer was reflexive–made without much thought put into it. I had just cleaned up after mowing the yard during the hot, humid afternoon. The weather was so muggy that I had to take several rest breaks for water and light snacks. When the work was done, the driveway swept, and the mower locked away in the garage, I was thankful to be finished for another week. Then I remembered that I’d be repeating this arduous chore in the heat until at least mid-September until the weather moderates.
“I hate summer, to be honest. I hate dressing. I hate the heat. I hate sweaty people getting aggressively close to you when you’re walking down the street.”–Olympic figure skating champion, Johnny Weir
Heat is a fact of life and something we can use constructively. Without the thermonuclear heat of the Sun, life would not exist on our planet. We would not be able to exist comfortably in cold climates. We would not be able to prepare many foods without heat. We would not have many of our everyday artifacts without heat to melt and mold certain substances. I could go on and on about the benefits of heat, while I cast a loving glance at the air conditioning compressor outside of the house. Indeed, the unit cools the house by subtracting heat. Air conditioning is a boon to humanity.
I’ve been observing reports about the record breaking heat along the Pacific Coast region of North America this year. For millions of Canadians and U.S. citizens global climate change is more than a political talking-point or lists of statistics. It’s the smoke from massive wildfires, unstable weather patterns, and other threats to life and well-being. Even here in Nebraska, the increase in the number and severity of wind storms is noticeable. It’s becoming more common to have 60-miles-an-hour straight-line winds. In the not so distant past, 40-miles-an-hour peak gusts were the norm.
“A snowflake is another beautifully ordered example of what simple, natural meteorological processes can produce. Stars form by gravity, collapsing into spherically ordered structures that can remain in this form only if they release tremendous heat energy into the environment.”–cosmologist and theoretical physicist, Lawrence M. Krauss
Thoughts of snow bring to mind the beauty of winter. It is during those months that I appreciate the benefits of heat more so than during the summer. There is the majesty of snow covered land and the comfort of warm sweaters and blankets. I crave a moderate balance between hot and cold as I grow older. The extremes are more difficult to endure even though they “toughen” me up.
“I planted my self in the middle of a great many Glasses full of Dew, tied fast about me, upon which the Sun so violently darted his Rays, that the Heat, which attracted them, as it does the thickest Clouds, carried me up so high, that at length I found my self above the middle Region of the Air.”–17th century writer, Cyrano de Bergerac
The heat is a personal bugaboo, that’s one reason I write about it so often. The whisper of a pedastal fan provides pleasant airflow as thoughts of the heat’s pros and cons come to mind this morning. We’re in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer in North America. This is a time to practice acceptance of what is. At times like this, Gershwin’s “Summertime” lifts the mood.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Yogi Berra. “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”