It’s been hotter here in the Pacific Northwest than I can ever remember. The moss in the forest is crispy brown instead of its usual emerald green and a few of the largest deciduous trees surrounding my property have even dropped a few leaves. If the trees could talk, I think they’d whine, “it’s too hot.”
When I was a young woman, I had the great privilege of living in India for a few years and experienced some of the hottest temperatures of my life. My journal states on one of those days the temps climbed to 123 degrees with 100% humidity. At the time, I lived in a small concrete outbuilding with no air conditioning, of course, and adopted the local way to stay cool: dump buckets of water on the concrete floor, lay down on a straw mat in about 2” of the tepid stuff, directly under an overhead fan until the sun went down, and more important try not to move. It worked. Or at least I survived the heat. I lay under that fan counting my breaths or fantasizing about what I’d do once the heat wave passed –drink a cold soda from the market, laugh with my friends, put on a fresh dress, dance in the streets.
One time, I sat up in the water and tried to read but when I opened my book the pages had begun to disintegrate and a few maggots crawled out of the spine. It left me breathless.*
In my new home I have air conditioning and the books on my shelf are intact and I don’t have to lay in a pool of water for hours and hours before I can drink iced tea or call my friend or take a shower and put on clean clothes or dance all around the house in my bare feet. Solace in gratitude for what I have.
How did you find solace this week?
*you can read more of my amazing journey in my new book, Wandering – a memoir, available 2022.
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