It is summertime here. The heat is HOT. The humidity…I swear it is not as bad as it usually gets around here…but it sure isn’t lovely.
I grew up in AL. I remember getting kicked out of the kids and told to go play until called…and not immediately dying from it. I don’t remember being viciously attacked by an enormous number of insects…mostly of which seem invisible…you have the bites all over, but you never see or feel them happening–or at least I don’t. When I was a kid, we had to be outside…because no one wanted to have to go get their own switch to get beat with…we didn’t sweat our butts off, languishing in a pile under one of the trees…we went out…and tried not to kill each other…or we tried to avoid each other…to the best of our abilities…and of course we avoided the fire ants that were everywhere because, you know, we wanted to actually survive to adulthood.
Now, I know I am sick–I have chronic issues, so I know I am not a pillar of exemplary example…but the heat and the humidity hit me like a ton of bricks. I can fight it for awhile, for the sake of my toddler, because he needs to get outside every single day — for everyone’s sanity…but I can’t handle it for long.
On Fridays, when I take the kids to go get their brother and run errands, by the time I get home, all I want is a tepid shower and some ice cold water to drink until my insides cool down so my outside relaxes.
I am not a hot weather person.
I am a winter person. Hands down. I have been for … decades … forever. Give me snow…piles of it, three feet of it…please. Not around here, but where I grew up (not AL, think WV, think MD) … snow…and lots of it.
I can deal with layers of clothing, sweaters, shawls, blankets, slippers, hot drinks held to warm the hands, lots of baking–fresh cookies and breads. I don’t do all that well with wet damp and chilly…my joints doth protest…but winter…give it to me.
I guess this is why when Fall comes around, I get hit with the “Spring Cleaning” bug…and when Spring comes around, I am ready to burrow inside the house and hermit it out until the cold comes back.
This year I have been pushing more–the cleaning and cleaning out has been a year-long process…every month I work on something else, purging out the old, inviting in the new.
Now I have a three-year-old who loves chocolate chip cookies–who is such a finicky eater, he makes me when I was his age look like a voracious eater (I was picky picky picky)–and I have to bake during the heat…because he loves the cookies…thankfully I have a bread machine and I don’t have to heat the whole house to have fresh bread…so I have to do what I can when I can…
Usually I wait for cooler weather to do anything…I have my own rhythms and my own cycles–almost always contrary to where I am and those around me…but I am ok with that. I have spent a great deal of time trying to do things for others, the way others want them…and it took me decades to understand why nothing worked for me…because I was doing their things their way…instead of doing my things my way…the past couple of years I have been working even harder to block out all the old garbage and only listen to my own body, to my own heart and to my own inner rhythms and musics…
Which is why when summer comes, I hide in the house, grateful beyond words for the gift of central air and having fans in every room to move the air.
Which is why when winter comes, I perk up, looking for the new and the different, wanting to be outside, ready to go and be and do.
It took me this long to be ok with all of that.