I didn’t do well. Time stopped for us during the heat wave last week as the oven-like temperatures rose higher and higher every day. Minute by minute in my mind! My husband and I couldn’t really think straight because we had only one thing on our minds — behold my own brand of cooling off!
In my 20’s, we lived for racing out to the beach every Saturday. We’d pack up a picnic, mix up the Pink Ladies, hook up the boat and head for the Sacramento delta to water ski. It was our heaven. I’ve always been crazy for swimming so my joy came from the water, my husband’s from the sweet rumble of his sleek red hot boat. Summer’s when you get to go barefoot and wear a single layer of clothes — tee shirt and shorts, of course. It’s supposed to be the season for playing in the water and has always been my favorite time of year. But that was then.
The heat wave last week has me rethinking. In fact, my priorities have been rearranging themselves ever since we moved from California to Oregon many years ago. Every summer I feel this deep yearning, the urge to submerge my body into a lake or river — any body of water will do — but I’ve been foiled by colder waters here. My brain has slowly been adapting to life without swimming… but the fantasy continues. Resorting to a kiddie pool is definitely desperate, but it does take the edge off!
Since we don’t have central a/c, our life savers in the heat last week were Cool Scarves. I once made dozens of them for my daughter Christy and her friends as they headed to the Nevada desert — IN AUGUST! They were driving to the Burning Man festival for the first time, and I thought a colorful choice of cooling neckties would ease the pain. The heat there is brutal.
I know… the weather’s too hot, the water’s too cold. Oh, how she carries on. Let’s face it, I am a wuss and I know it. Perhaps spring is my new favorite season.
Emerging from the Heartache of Loss & the Pandemic
My own book has been useful during the pandemic. I never get tired of rereading those first sentences, “The most healing, reassuring words your fragile heart can hear right now are these: It won’t always be this way. You won’t always feel like this. This knowledge will keep your spirit alive.” This is true no matter what loss you feel or how deeply you feel it.
Losing social interaction was profound for me, and some days it felt debilitating. My passion, after all, is ballroom dancing and there was none of that kind of touching going on. How could I feel so sad when I have so much to be grateful for? The void was obvious whenever my mood lifted with the smallest of conversations… with anyone. Thank you, guy-who-gathers-up-carts-in-the-Safeway-parking-lot!
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. So many people lost so much over the past year: their jobs, their health, the freedom to come and go as they please. Many people lost loved ones. These changes are common, but I’m still learning how to adjust more easily to the losses I have to face from now on. Emerging from the Heartache of Loss is a gentle start toward healing your heart from whatever loss you’re struggling with.