Wednesday, July 11

A midsummer day's dream

July? When did it get to be July?


The Fourth of July is now a whole week past. We are, in North Carolina, squarely in those hot, sticky days that mark midsummer. Not the dog days of August yet, but those days when it constantly feels as if a storm is brewing. Many days a storm IS brewing, and as clouds gather your heart lifts and you think "Maybe some rain will cool things off!" Funny how you think that every time, and it almost never happens. Instead, if it does rain, it merely increases the humidity to a full 100% and leaves pavement steaming after it passes.

Ugh. I am not a hot-weather kind of gal.

Still, I have to admit that this weather does make me appreciate even the thought of cool autumn days. I AM a cool-weather kind of gal. I went into a store the other day and saw lots of fall clothes--beautiful browns and olive greens, the very thing for a redhead! And I long for the weather to turn cool and crisp and energizing.

But isn't it true that if the weather were always cool and crisp and energizing--if there were never yucky hot days--we wouldn't appreciate those beautiful cool days? It's true for me, at least. Sometimes I think that, in our relatively easy lives, we lose some of the joy of the good things. Air conditioning makes hot weather bearable, so cool weather comes and we hardly notice. We have food so plentiful that we're never terribly hungry, so we derive little satisfaction from a good meal. Easy-to-obtain credit makes it possible to buy most anything we want right now; we don't have to wait and save the way our parents did--but we lose some of the elation of finally being able to have the thing we worked so hard to earn.

I wonder if we should stop to remember that, as good as this life is, the best is yet to come. Our forebears had no trouble remembering this. Take a look at an old hymnal, and you'll find lots of songs that describle life as a "vale of tears." They sang, "This world is not my home; I'm just a passing through." Small wonder: summer or winter, life was hard.

No, I don't want to go back to the harder life that our parents and grandparents lived. But I do wonder if perhaps our view of things is a bit skewed. What do you think?