My Glorious Swamp

Weather. It is one of those subjects that affects everyone. It impacts our choice of dress, mode of transportation and daily activities. Children by and large ignore it; old folks become obsessed with it; the rest of us a acknowledge its role in our lives then just keep moving.

I have begun to refer to my corner of the world as ‘the swamp’ which may not really be fair, but in the middle of a six month summer season, while enduring another day of sweltering heat and humidity, it is appropriate.

I hate to sweat. I use that line frequently as a jovial jab at the fact that, in the middle of summer, I can step out of my shower and break into sweat while getting dressed. This is a very unpleasant sensation. Some days even the dry air conditioned air is not enough to be comfortable unless one sits, moving only enough to relieve the pressure on one butt cheek or the other.

In all fairness I have lived in worse conditions. Houston’s heat and humidity look like paradise compared to the climate in the corner of the state that triangulates with Mexico and the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I shouldn’t complain. But I’m getting old and firmly believe I have paid my dues and earned the right.

So why does the ‘get off my lawn’ crowd seem more obsessed with weather than the youngsters? Having crossed over to other side I believe I now understand.

First, our bodies don’t adapt as quickly as they used to. We feel the extremes and they affect everything from mobility to our overall sense of well-being. But for me it is more than that. I still adapt. Once June ends and July begins I no longer feel as though I can’t breathe when stepping outside into air so thick you could slice it with a butter knife. I accept and adapt. But I don’t have to like it. What I am realizing is that life really is short—a sobering reality that escalates with each passing birthday—why do I want to spend time living in the swamp when there are so many other places I could be?

Then, I wake up to mornings like today. There is a tropical storm churning in the Gulf. Beta is forecasted to inundate the swamp of coastal Texas and Louisiana with flooding rain. But before that happens, God gave us a gift. A glorious morning, cool crisp air, the perfect breeze, and a palette of blues and greens so perfectly vivid that I just sit here soaking it all in knowing that no photograph could do justice to this splendor.

This is fall color in southeast Texas.

I wonder as I sip my coffee, listening to the leaves rustle and the birds discuss the best place to hide from the coming rain, if I didn’t endure the swamp…would I really appreciate the glory? Can we ever truly appreciate blessings without the pain? I don’t think so. So I thank you God for this gift. And while I’m at it, can’t we please find a happy medium between swamp and paradise where the mister and I could live out our days?

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday. I’m off to buy some dog food before the rain begins.

~Sheryl

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