Seven days ago the sun was a stifling, sweltering, burning mechanism of destruction, blazing through the day like a 1000 watt bulb shining in the face of a prisoner strapped to her chair (while she sat under 3 fans and double ice packs writing posts for her blog because the A/C unit decided to take an extended holiday…). The humidity wasn’t sub-tropical, it was inescapably tropical and so high that another percentage point or two and it would have been raining from the ceiling; and there was not a breath of air moving (save for the fans). The hours of night were hot, sultry and not at all conducive to sleeping; not even the cat was happy, and there were more than a few moments when I considered moving my pillow outside to sleep under the stars (as it was easily 10-15 degrees cooler outside.) Even the furniture was hot (and unhappy)
Last night a deliciously cool zephyr whispered through the hedges, caressed the sun-kissed flowers in the garden, and slipped effortlessly through the open windows to saturate every room with a briskness that made me turn OFF the fan and reach for the extra blanket. Divine coolth permeated my dreams; the cat snuggled close, delighted, and 5 AM brought with it not only the annoyingly prompt peals from the alarm clock, ( that received the customary verbal assault and thrown pillow) but also 58 degrees! Long I snuggled beneath the blankets, enchanted by the chill, recalling humidity and heat like a nightmare from Hell itself.
58 degrees is by no means cold. It’s a wonderful temperature, really; just right for comfortable clothing and a snuggle under a blanket (without breaking into a sweat or having to throw your cuddle-mate over like they suddenly developed Rigellian Fever) (which is an incurable disease, but only on Star Trek), but when you’ve acclimated to temperatures in the upper 90’s with 90+% humidity, a 58 degree morning is actually a bit shocking. Thank goodness for heated car seats!
For someone who really doesn’t enjoy the summer months of heat, humidity, sunburn, and headaches from all of the aforementioned maladies, it is somewhat surprising how quickly you can become accustomed to conditions you otherwise detest, yet, there I sat last week, typing away in the (nearly) unbearable swelter, willingly choosing misery over comfort. (ie. Air conditioning)
Now that I am cool enough to think clearly (relatively speaking, that is) it makes me wax somewhat philosophical how so many of us (myself included, apparently) choose the burden over liberation, anguish over contentment, anxiety over peace. We stumble and struggle, gnash our teeth, and curse the sky, while systematically choosing to disregard or discount the resolution that would change our lives dramatically. Maybe we consciously make this decision, maybe not. Perhaps we fear the change more than what we have become acclimated to, even if what we have gotten used to makes us unhappy, lonely, angry, or physically causes us pain. Just like Hamlet….(you knew I had to sneak it in there somehow, right?)
To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
Even Hamlet, fantasizing about how marvelous it would be to simply end it all, immediately fears what he doesn’t know, doesn’t understand, and, ultimately, changes nothing.
But what if you didn’t have to change anything? What if the solution to the problem was already right there, just around the corner, simply waiting for you? What if you could ask for the burden to be lifted, the suffering to end, the anxiety to be transformed into peace of mind and it wouldn’t cost you anything? What if you wouldn’t have to change anything or do anything to attain that measure of relief?
Other than ask.