I wake up and step outside. It’s a beautiful morning. The air is crisp like Fall, and a smile immediately comes to my face. It’s almost May. I know many people can’t wait for the warmer weather to get here. A week or so ago, the temperature hit in the 80’s. They were ecstatic. I was miserable.
As I get older, I find myself preferring the cooler weather more and more. I even like it when it’s cold. It heightens my senses, invigorates me. I find myself drawing in deep breaths of air. I like how it feels in my lungs. I seem to come alive. And then there’s getting warm. The steamy bowl of soup, the hot cup of tea. I don’t believe you can appreciate those in warmer climates like you can in the north.
But I wonder. The hotter weather will be here soon. Do I have to be miserable?
It will be a physical challenge for me. But what about the mental and emotional challenge? How will I handle that? Or maybe that’s the problem, that I perceive it as something to handle rather than to choose.
My preference is for cooler weather. Nothing wrong there. But my attitude toward warmer weather bears some scrutiny.
Every year I go through this. Every year my patience melts as the pavement seems to melt under the heat, and I complain and whine and moan about how miserable I am. I can make myself miserable while I’m still in my air conditioned home knowing I have to go outside in the heat.
Why do we do that, anticipate grief? Do we think we need to practice misery? Don’t most of us have that down pat? I do.
I think this year I’m going to try something different. Without denying that hot heat affects me physically, I’m going to try to experience the same reality differently. Instead of fighting the heat and hiding from it, I’ll try to befriend it and become more mindful and look for the pleasure in the experience of it.
You know that phrase when asked how you’re doing, “Same old, same old”? Well, that just doesn’t apply to things, mundane or otherwise, that happen in our reality. It also applies to us, our responses to the things that happen in our reality.
How about meeting the “same old” happenings with “brand new” responses?
Perhaps finding balance between that which we prefer and that which we don’t and crafting our experiential reality is part of what this journey is all about.
Regardless in whatever larger context this experience may lie, I’m beginning to think maybe you can’t truly appreciate a bowl of gazpacho soup or an ice cold drink like they do in warmer climates.
You know, I just might let myself find out.