Having now lived in Door County for 10 years, I decided to never complain about the heat. Outside of a few days a summer the temperature rarely reaches 90°F (I think that’s 4000°C for my Canadian brothers and sisters). The relative humidity usually behaves itself. Summers pass by here with little discomfort. AND once you have experienced -30°F (I think that’s -4000°C for my Canadian brothers and sisters) you don’t complain about the heat.
It is 82°F (Canadians figure it oot). I’m not complaining. Ten days ago, our temperature was in the mid 50’s. We still had the heat on in the parsonage. We still waited for cherry blossoms—and anything else that resembled spring. Today the hum of the air conditioner reminds me how quickly spring comes and goes here.
Upper Mid-west joke. Old timer #1: Do you remember spring last year? Old Timer #2: It was a Tuesday, wasn’t it?
Growing up, we never had air conditioning. We learned many ways to trick our hot, sticky bodies into sleep. A cool washcloth on the back of your neck, a run under the hose later in the evening (which also qualified as a shower in the summer). We ran fans as exhaust fans, blowing the hot air out of our room (and sucking hot air in through the other windows.)
I have always preferred the heat to the cold. I believe you can always find a cool place on a hot day. You can never find a warm place on a cold day. Having now experienced Honduran and St. Thomasan heat, cool places abound. Isaiah promises a reign of righteousness “like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land."
Weary. As the days of COVID-19 stretch into months, I am weary. When I wake in the morning, my mind has already engaged the struggles of what to do and what not to do. I cling to my training. I reread some of my own writing to remind myself of what I said and why I said it. But I am weary—and not a good weary. My weariness grows from uncertainty. I want to give definitive answers, but I have none. I want to set a straight course for a decidedly crooked future. I want to announce that ‘normal’ is just around the next bend, but I don’t believe it.
The heat beckons me out of my comfortable office. The naturalness of it, the rawness of it pulls me outside. I know it’s hot, but it’s not THAT hot. It’s not digging fill dirt out of the scrub at noon Honduras hot (that IS a story for a different day). It’s not hanging one footed off of a 20’ foot ladder painting the peak of wall St. Thomas hot (less interesting story, but it does include a tarantula and my insurance agent holding the ladder from which I hung).
I know it’s hot, but I know the leafing maples offer shade in the cemetery. I know it’s hot, but I know that that a breeze off of Lake Michigan affords respite for the weary. I know it’s hot, but the One who brings lake breezes and shady benches promises deliverance from the heat, from the cold, from pandemics and the sacrifices they demand, from intolerance, hatred, malice. I know that the One who brings all these things delivers us from all that wearies us.
I love you.
I need you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.