A Legacy Summer Now
Is it just me, or does getting older increase the sensitivity of one’s back to heat and cold? When I was a young fella, the heat and cold didn’t bother me. These days, the slightest chill in the air will run down my back and set my whole body to shivering. If the mercury (an archaic term used to describe a thermometer that measured air temperature) tops 100 degrees here in California, my back sweats like the proverbial pig.
And by the way, what happened to the long-ago magic of summer that set in after the last day of school, when each morning was filled with the promise of adventure in the outdoors? As a lad I enjoyed the freedom of riding bikes all over town, playing baseball, fishing in little streams, flagging down ice cream trucks that prowled the neighborhoods, swimming at the community plunge (and accusing my compatriots of peeing in the pool), gorging on homemade potato salad doused with paprika, laying on the floor under the swamp cooler (an archaic term used to describe a machine people used to cool their homes). Yep, those were the glory days of summer. Funny, I don’t recall sweating as a child during the summer, though I must have since mom insisted I take a bath (an archaic term used to describe a method people employed to wash their body) every couple of days.
People in the West often say: “Sure it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat.” Yeah, dry heat doesn’t make you feel any more comfortable when the sweat gushes from your body like a lawn sprinkler. Dry heat my . . . well, you get the picture. But despite my growing sensitivity to temperature extremes, I still love much about summer. Is there a spiritual lesson here? Maybe it’s that summer, despite its discomfort, is a blessing from God. It’s a season for growth and spending more time outdoors in God’s cathedrals.
There is something soothing and healing in a summer breeze rustling the leaves above your head. Summer can be a time of extreme activity or disinclination to activity, without the guilt. The magic of summer is still there, we just have to take time to experience it. Go camping. Go fishing. Go to a strawberry festival. Go swimming at the lake. Go to a baseball game. Explore the county fair. Have a glass of cold ice tea after mowing the lawn. If you happen to be in Northern California, drive to the redwoods where you can sit on a bench in a grove of massive trees that have been alive since Christ walked the earth, where I promise you will feel closer to God. Or go to the mountains. Go to the ocean. Go to the desert. God is there, especially in summer. He loves to see his people enjoy His handiwork and the simple pleasures that endure.