The weather forecast for today indicates the temperature will be 100. It would be easy to complain about that. My sweating is more profuse than most people and its gets annoying on the really hot days. I worry that I smell like a goat as the day goes on! But my doctor says my sweating is a healthful thing and the perspiration removes toxins from my body. So these days I try to perspire in peace without complaint with some measure of gratitude for the good health contribution my doc says it contributes to.
The winter weather the last few years has been just as extreme as the heat in an opposite manner. Record snow and low temperatures were set several times. When it is hot like today I try to imagine those winter days when the temp was double digits below zero or I bring to mind the massive snow storm last year. In memory I try to conjure up shoveling snow last winter when I was thinking about the summer heat and wishing for it.
Having screwy weather does lend a consistent subject for conversation. What Mother Nature is doing is always the fallback topic for casual talk. That’s a little feature of weather to be grateful for; an easy topic for light conversation. (Have you noticed I am digging for reasons to be grateful for 100 degrees today? If so, you are “catching my drift” as us children of the 60’s and 70’s like to say).
When the first snow of the year arrives and the white stuff is falling slowly to a light accumulation of 2 or 3 inches, I love winter. The flurries seem to make everything beautiful and after a snowfall even the sound of walking in snow is more resonant. (OK, that helped me feel a little better about the 100 degree forecast for today. The air conditioning vent with cool air blowing on my feet helped. I promise I will be more grateful for cold weather next year!).
Now in early summer, the flowers, grass and trees are vibrant, alive and un-bothered by a heat wave of a few days. As long as rain comes with some regularity all the green seems to relish the hot days and happily makes the landscape beautiful. (Chalk up another point for gratitude!)
The clouds of summer are different than any other time of year. I read there are over one thousand types of clouds and in warm weather we see a greater variety than at any other time of year. Laying in the edge of the shadow of a big tree and watching the cloud shapes dance in the sky was a favorite summer pastime as a child. (I have found another gratitude point!)
I went looking for more to add to my gratitude scales this morning to tip them in favor of the heat that will be upon me today. And I found a little jewel in a grammar school poem used to teach little kids about the weather:
I like to watch the way the wind
can spin a weather vane.
I like to wear my big blue boots
to splash with in the rain.
I like to ride my bright red sled
on cold snowy days.
I like to feel the sun’s warm rays
when I wade in the ocean waves.
Wind, rain, snow, and sun
Every kind of weather
is wonderful and fun!
OK, OK. I am getting there. With a little more help from oldies from the late 60’s I think I can finally arrive with real and full gratitude for the 100 degrees today.
Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city.
(Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer in the City)
Just a few more lyrics from another song and I think I have arrived at the feeling of gratitude I was looking for this morning.
Oh, the sun beats down
and burns the tar up on the roof.
And your shoes get so hot,
you wish your tired feet were fireproof.
(Drifters – Under the Boardwalk)
There now, I have it. I found my gratitude today for the summer heat. I used several routes to get there: old memories, favorite song lyrics and old-fashioned counting my blessings.
Gratitude is not always something on the tip of my tongue or a first thought. Yet, when I stop and focus for a short while I find I am grateful even for things that at first seem like nuisance. There is a saying used in recovery groups that works and fits my occasion this morning. “Fake it until you make it” worked just fine this morning to deposit me at my destination of thankfulness.
PS: My thanks to Stuart W. Cramer who is credited for inventing modern air conditioning without whom I don’t believe this blog would have been possible!
The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. Patrick Young