I have lived in Texas every summer of my life. Sometimes, I am sure this is purgatory on earth, or at least a forewarning of how much hotter it will be in hell. (A statement pointed enough to suffice for an entire homily for Aggie Catholics a couple summers ago!) Other times, I think this must be God’s way of convincing me to move somewhere else… a place where they enjoy all four seasons, and summer doesn’t drag on forever. Lately, though, I’ve found myself being thankful for the summer and the sun, for more reasons than long days, swimming pools, and not-pasty skin.
It’s surprisingly easy to get acclimated to the heat if you’re outside enough. Even after working at a summer camp the past two years, I’m shocked to hear myself admit that it’s not as bad when you get used to it—I literally wore my hair in a ponytail every day until the seventh grade because I was always so miserably hot if I wore it down. I have never claimed to be someone who loves summer… I am far more of a cold weather person, and I know it. So, when I was looking at the weather this weekend, and realized that it wasn’t supposed to get above 90 degrees here next week, I was thrilled. Until I got nervous.
I think I learned to love the heat this summer. It was 110 degrees, I was sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat, and I was loving it. I know, I sound like a crazy person. I got used to it and comfortable in it, even as uncomfortable as it usually was. Now that I’m back to the “real life” of living inside, I get cabin fever really easily. I miss feeling the sun on my skin, and I miss that almost-stifling warmth of summer heat radiating off the ground. I miss smelling the rain before it arrived and watching the dawn creep up over the trees. Living in it made me love it!
There is one thing I don’t have to miss. Even if I’m only outside for a few minutes, there is always that feeling of being totally enveloped in heat. As I was praying in the adoration chapel last week, I asked God to reveal Himself to me in the simple things in my life. (I’m convinced that if we increase our awareness of His presence, we automatically increase our awareness of our call to holiness. But that’s for another post!) The thought that kept returning to me was about the heat and how God wants me to know Him through it. So I started thinking…