Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reclaiming Summer

It has been HOT! We have had a spell of temperatures in the nineties and I could not be enjoying it more. Call me crazy, but I have been enjoying feeling the heat of the summer. I have not felt more alive in a long time!

To give some insight into my thought process, I should take you back to my summer experiences growing up. When I was a child, I grew up in a town on the west side of Cleveland. It was on Lake Erie, so summers were hot and humid. Granted, it is not as humid as many places in the South where you can feel like you are swimming in the air, but there is a certain amount of humidity that comes with living along one of the Great Lakes. It can easily get into the eighties and nineties in the Cleveland area during the summer. I say this because I've had many people express surprise in this who have not been to the northern part of Ohio.

Any who, I grew up without air conditioning and surprisingly survived with fans! My family did not install air conditioning until after I had finished college and I had moved out. Upon getting married, my ex loved air conditioning and would crank it up during the summer. I also lived in Hotlanta for four years and everywhere I went was blasting with cool air--so much so, that I wore more pants and carried sweatshirts with me everywhere because I would be freezing. It actually made me more uncomfortable going from the extreme heat to extreme, unnaturally cool air inside the buildings. Sorry, but I'd rather deal with one steady temperature instead of the influx and the absurdity of packing layers--in the summer. It just feels wrong to me.

So, this year I have been trying not to turn on my air conditioning in my apartment. I was more motivated in trying to save some money, but as the days passed I realized I liked having the air conditioning off. I love having the windows open and breathing fresh air. I love the feel of a summer breeze and the sounds of the birds in the tree by my balcony. It makes me feel so much more alive and connected to the world. I realize how quiet and isolating closing up your home can be when using the air conditioning. By closing everything up, I miss hearing the soft sounds of life, the smells of flowers or barbecues, and the certainty that what you feel and see are in sync with each other. And as odd as this may sound, I missed feeling the hot summer sweat--not the kind that makes me feel completely uncomfortable and slimy gross--the kind that is lightly sticky, but reminds me of the warmth that it is truly summer.

I haven't experienced summer my way, the way that I had for most of my life in a really long time. And it is completely awesome to be able to to return to living and experiencing summer my way. Swimming in the cool of the pool is that much more satisfying. Watermelon dripping off my chin tastes that much more sweet. And going for a walk on a warm summer night with my man is that much more intoxicating. I love, LOVE summer!

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