It’s only the end of June, and already I am done in by summer. My brain is sucked dry by the heat. My body is drenched from humidity that keeps even the smallest droplet of sweat from evaporating. My lungs are cooked from the ozone pollution that renders the air in this city unbreathable.
I am out of patience, out of inspiration, out of any will to accomplish anything. I don’t want to practice, I don’t want to garden, I don’t want to walk, or write, or paint, or do anything creative. I only want to join my dog, who is stretched out in front of the air conditioning vent with her belly pressed against the cool of the hardwood floor. Alas, I’m not willing to endure the embarrassment of getting into that position and being unable to get up again.
I recently e-mailed a friend with my realization that I make a lousy Buddhist: I am so very attached to not being hot. And I do not welcome any of the current opportunities to work on ridding myself of this particular attachment. I am addicted to being at a comfortable temperature.
Yet even as I write this, I know what a whiney-butt I’m being. My house has air conditioning – something I grew up without and lived without until I was in my mid-twenties. I can afford the electricity that runs the air conditioner. I don’t have to work outside. I don’t really even have to go outside unless I choose to. My schedule is my own, so I can walk my dog before the sun rises and starts the bake cycle for another day. So many people have no choice and no recourse but to endure the heat, without any hope of comfort in their nights or their days.
Next week I head to the hills, to what I hope will be cleaner air and cooler temperatures. I am going to the Mountain Collegium, a weeklong early music summer camp in the North Carolina mountains. (I always wanted to be one of those kids going to a summer music camp; now I finally get to go.) The camp information list says to bring a sweater for cool nights. I doubt that I will – I think I’d rather enjoy shivering.