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The Simple Pleasures of Dry Air

April 21, 2012

For the first time in several years, I am not dreading the approach of summer. Thank you, Colorado. Thank you for being awesome. And thank you, Lord, for delivering me!

I grew up in Missoula, Montana. It was a beautiful home and I honestly never wanted to leave. My idea of “the way things should be” is more-or-less the way things are in the Rockies.

Among my numerous arbitrary expectation, I believe:

  • It should be cold and refreshing when it rains.
  • The world should smell like pine trees, glory, and the essence of freshness after the rain.
  • The temperature should cool considerably at night, especially at the height of summer.
  • The sun is actually a good thing and should not feel like it is trying to kill me (I will elaborate on this in a moment).
  • It should be noticeably cooler in the shade than in direct sunlight.
  • My clothes should not be damp for several days when I hang them out to dry.
  • My hair should never be the frizzy mess that high humidity produces.
  • My face should still feel clean 15 minutes after I have washed it.
  • I should never walk out the door and find myself instantly wet… unless it is raining.
  • When I work up a sweat, that sweat should be evaporating and cooling me, not mingling with The Great Wet Yuck.
  • I should enjoy being outside!

None of these things were true in Texas or Missouri. For 15 long years, I lived in a world that was far from “right.” I was constantly perplexed by the contradiction between my love of the outdoors and the extreme displeasure I felt whenever I was outside. Air conditioning became my dear friend and I started hiding from the sun. I quickly fell in love with Autumn and my favorite season, Winter, was exalted to an even higher place.

I also found myself at war with the sun. I really don’t know how to explain it, but the sun always felt harsh and oppressive to me. I felt certain it was out to destroy me… sending its minions (in the form of humidity) to crush my soul. Some of my friends in Missouri even feared for me, as they saw how strong my anti-sun sentiments were becoming.

I am realizing now that the sun was never my problem. The experience of the sun in Missouri and Texas was my problem. Humidity was my problem. I simply function better at a higher altitude, in a dry climate.

The most shocking moment of revelation in this regard came less than a week after we moved here. I was standing outside and, from the overflow of my heart, exclaimed, “The sun is so beautiful!” I was elated. But, wait a minute? Had I just spoken those words? I, who allegedly hated the sun, was praising it? My husband was as shocked as I was.

And that’s when I realized it. My exile had ended. Praise the Lord!

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