A Wave of Heat

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

August 11, 2022

I’m not sure where you live, but in my neck of the woods, it’s been hot. It’s been hotter than usual, earlier than usual, for longer than usual. I’m not one to regularly use air conditioning. I live near the beach, so the breeze is usually quite delightful. And even if the days are hot, the evenings usually cool down rather significantly. But for the past few weeks this has not been the case. The days have been sweltering. The nights have been sweltering. And the air conditioning has been on full blast day and night. I’m grateful to live in a time and place that has air conditioning easily accessible. I’m grateful to live in a home that provides me with relief from the heat. And I’m grateful to have the ability to shield myself from the wave of heat that’s taken over my coastal town.

Yesterday Morning

I’ve been dreading going outside in the morning for weeks. I have chickens out back, so I have to open their door, get them fresh water, and refresh their food. The moment that heavy, humid air hit my body, a light sweat began. The first outdoor inhalation would fill my lungs with that same heavy, humid feeling. It would make me immediately feel tired, and I’d want to head back into the freshly conditioned air. I took hold of the backdoor handle yesterday morning and dreaded the familiar sensation. I turned the knob and pushed the door open. And I was immediately relieved. The air was cool and light. I took a deep breath and my lungs felt refreshed. After doing my morning chores, I went inside and opened all the windows. I knew the cool air would soon be replaced by the humid heat, but I had to take advantage of getting some fresh air flowing through the house. I was rejuvenated. As much as I loathed heading out in the morning for the past few weeks, I couldn’t avoid it. I have responsibilities and animals that require my care. And the surprise of walking out into the cool air was all I needed to remember that no matter what is happening in life, it doesn’t last forever. There’s always another season. The heat wave will end. The moon will continue to go through phases. And the earth will keep orbiting around the sun. And ya know what else? The fresh air will always be invigorating.