Driving home this afternoon in the heat, I thought about simply aiming the car west and going back to Colorado. I could be in the mountains in less than nine hours, and that sure seemed to be the only way to escape many days of outrageous heat and crazy humidity. Coupled with the wind, it’s the kind of weather that makes me feel like I feel into a giant dryer each time I exited a building. Once I got home, I actually looked on wunderground.com to see what the temperature was in Chicago, where I could maybe catch a cheap flight although there’s absolutely no reason I even want to leave home now. But hey, when it gets like this, it feels like it will be like this forever.
Weather and emotions: both of them are the prima donna players of our lives. Whatever we feel seems like it’ll last forever — sadness, anger, joy, boredom, and the same is true of intense weather. When the sun is out, it feels like it’ll always be out; when it’s bitter cold, it’s hard to remember anything different. Yet weather and emotions can change on a dime, and they do.
Like right now. As I sit here writing this, the thunder gets louder, the sky gets darker, and the dog tunnels deeper into the closet (she hates storms). The temperature has dropped over ten degrees in less than an hour, the sky smells like rain, and some rain has already begun to fall. I think of walking from the parking lot to the Kansas University Union today with my daughter, Natalie, for a little errand, and how, in the heavy and searing heat, she turned to me and said, “I hate Kansas.” I wanted to say, “No, you don’t; you just hate this weather,” but I knew that both the feeling and the weather would pass. I just didn’t expect it to change so drastically so quickly.
Now I can hear the rain hitting the deck and roof, and especially some tin sheets we’re storing outside my window. The golden and blue-gray light competes, and the cottonwood leaves shake harder. It’s time to stand up, walk to the door and open it to what new sky life has just landed here.