So we’re having a heat wave in Maryland, with heat indexes nudging over 120F in Baltimore. We rarely go a summer without some triple digit days, so this is not all that unheard of, but it is uncomfortable. I rode my lesson horse on Thursday morning, got off, and realized I had exceeded my heat tolerance.
I know what to do when that happens, so I did it–sponge baths, cool clothes, AC, lots and lots of room temperature water in steady sips rather than chug-a-lugs–and respect for the residual fatigue. As I sat right in front of my fan that evening, revising a scene, I was aware of how much pleasure and contentment I got out of the very simplest comforts.
A breeze. Cool water. Soft, lightweight play clothes… when the night cooled off enough I turned off the AC and fans, and oh… the quiet. The absolute, lovely, calm quiet (and the symphony of cicadas, crickets, and other bugs enjoying the quiet with me). Early Friday morning I raided my yard for those high summer favorites, dahlias and gladiolus. They are so bright and cheery, and if it’s too hot to go outside, I can bring some outside into my kitchen.
Winter has the same effect, of elevating mundane comforts to the sublime–warmth becomes precious. A cup of hot tea a benediction. A soft woven scarf becomes the most prized accessory. A shoveled walk is a thing of beauty and safety. A calm, sunny day is a reason to rejoice, even if it is frigid.
A heat wave is a bad thing. It causes suffering and even death, but in my case, it also caused me to stop running around, to sit quietly and be glad I had the privilege of indulging my limitations. For much of my life, I have been a soldier-on-no-matter-what single working mom, and that is no way to get through a heat wave or a cold snap.
What stops you from excessive busyness? Illness? Weather? Migraines? Family? Is there a time of year when you are more likely to overdo or slow down? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed ARC of Forever and a Duke!