Summer panic… and peace
Right about this time every year, there gets to be a tight feeling in my chest, which I have to fight for… oh, about five months. It’s a bit like claustrophobia, but it’s more along the lines of heat-o-phobia. Truly, I despise summer in the desert. Some people really love the heat and thrive in it. That, however, is not me. I have worked hard to find things to appreciate about the place I live so that I’m not living with a crappy attitude and wishing to be elsewhere, half of my life. My husband is a native, his dad is a native (which is REALLY rare; the Phoenix area is a valley of transients)… My mom and stepdad are here, my sister and brother-in-law are here, my niece is here… plus, we truly have the most amazing church where we both serve and are fed. Not to mention my husband’s fabulous job that he’s been at for 19 years. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll be leaving any time soon. I have come to value the benefits to living here, apart from the weather, which, any time I really let myself think about it, I could pretty easily conjure up some tears. I mean, I really despise summer in the desert.
But, I will not dwell on the endless 110°+ days; I will, instead, continue to look for things that make the desert tolerable or even pleasant, and fight the heat-o-phobia and its accompanying tears which threaten to steal my peace.
Several things have made the transition into summer easier for me this year:
- There have only been a handful of 100° days so far. Today, as I write, we have been the beneficiary of some low-pressure front, or something like that, and the temps are supposed to top out in the 70s. Yesterday’s high was 80°. I know that God doesn’t allow these sort of days solely for me, but I like to think of them as Him giving me a bit of hope and reprieve, letting me know that I can make it, and that it’s not ALL oven-like misery.
- I have been waking earlier. Much earlier. A couple of weeks ago, I started hiking a mountain — hill, more like it — that is nearby. I wake at 5:30 a.m., am on the trail by 6:00, and home by about 7:15 just in time to help my hubby gather his lunch for the day, his to-go mug of coffee, and to kiss him goodbye. The first day I did the early-morning hike, Martin said, “You could do that every day and it would be OK with me.” Other than a spunky 2yo who sometimes wakes way too early and won’t stay in bed, and has the power to open the fridge and take out everything she can’t eat and have a surreptitious binge whilst Daddy is in the shower and Mommy is not yet home, it works really well. And, I have the great feeling of becoming fit and healthier, as well as breathing in the cool, early morning air and being there to (almost) greet the sunrise. I do a balloon-shaped trail that is about 3.6 miles, savoring the temperatures that are in the 60s or 70s… It has been wonderful. And, somehow, it’s SO MUCH EASIER for this night owl to roll out of bed at 5:30 for a hike, instead of, say, the stationary bike.
Our backyard is now over five years old, and the pathetic little saplings have matured and grown into a lush (for the desert) green oasis. This may not seem like much, but when I’m surrounded by hot, brown, and dry, it’s such a blessing to be able to walk into my back yard and breathe in a little bit o’ GREEN. The trees are now climbable, and one of them even has a little rope swing attached. We have two medium (but lovely) fruitless pistachio trees and two large tipu trees. Wonderful.
- My garden. Again, it’s only May, and I got it in a good month later than I should have, so who knows how fruitful it will actually be. But for now, it’s medicine to my soul to push the dirt around and coax and nurture little plants into being. Usually once a day (at least), I pull out my kneeling pad and just sit on it, looking at the garden. Even when there’s nothing to do in it, I feel good looking at it either up close, or just glancing out the window while working in the kitchen. Over the weekend, my hubby installed soaker tube for the irrigation and put up a little wire fence to keep our dog (and small children) from romping through the tender growth. He proclaimed, “Now it looks like a real garden.” I concur.
Posted on May 10, 2011, in Arizona, Desert Gardening, Dogs, Encouragement, Get Fit!, Health, Hiking, Life in the Desert, Loving Nature!, Summer Plans, The Dear Hubby, Vineyard Phoenix. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.