Tag Archives: seasons

Chillin: 11 Ways to Stay Cool on a Hot Summer Day

Considering that the cumulative high temperature over the last 10 days has been about 1000°, and considering that my home (and home office) has no air conditioning, I have brainstormed some helpful hints on how to spend your next 60 days (or 6000°).

11. One word: basement.

10. Slather on the sunscreen and set up the Slip ‘n’ Slide, uh, for the KIDS. Right. For the kids.

9. Conduct a mad Internet search for an air conditioning unit. Pay whatever is asked, even if it completely usurps the childrens’ college funds.

8. Plant an acorn and envision that in the Summer of ’42 you’ll have shade.

7. Hijack an ice cream truck.

6. Daydream about the Blizzard of 2003. And the snowless snow days of 2011 when it hit 40° below and the school buses wouldn’t run.

5. Eat this dessert (adults only).

4. Go to Costco and accidentally find yourself in the refrigerated food section. I mean INSIDE it. If caught, claim that you were chasing a wayward child who loves cheese.

3. Investigate rain dances from various indigenous cultures. Gather the neighbors to help you summon and please the rain gods with a rainmaking ritual. Stop short of sacrificing small animals, especially if flame is involved.

2. Hug a firefighter. Air hug, perhaps, to prevent spontaneous combustion.

1. Popsicles for dinner.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How do you cool off on a hot summer day?

(Southern hemisphere friends, please tuck this post away and come back to read in January.)

Balance: Heaven on earth

Earlier this week we celebrated a time of balance, the moment in which the earth is midway on her path between solstices. Even the word equinox, equal night, denotes balance.

The precise time of the spring equinox was 11:14 pm where I live, so I didn’t mark it with much fanfare. However, 10 hours later, a friend from yoga class accompanied me to a local labyrinth on a hill.

I walked a labyrinth years ago on the autumnal equinox. I am lured to labyrinths as a walking meditation. With a winding path, you don’t really know how long the journey is or how you’ll get to where you’re going. You know only that if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will experience it all. The labyrinth itself leads you through and you don’t have to make any decisions other than to move forward (unlike with a maze).

As I walk I find myself wanting to look ahead to the next turn. Each time I gently bring my mind back to the one step I’m on. I find balance everywhere. I’m certain, though I haven’t counted, that the number of left turns is equal to the number of right turns. Some the time I’m walking the inside of the labyrinth and some the time I’m walking the outside of it. I am alternatively inhaling and exhaling. The earth and I are in this exquisite and fleeting moment of balance.

And I am aware of it.

The morning is chilly, about 40 degrees (4° C). Still, I remove one of my jackets and take a perch at the center of the labyrinth on a tree stump. I decide to offer up tree pose with half lotus. Nothing too difficult, but fitting in with the morning’s theme of balance and calm. My friend snaps a photo.


I was surprised later when I saw this photo by the joy on my face. I thought at the instant my friend clicked the shutter that I was fighting amid the shivers  to stay balanced on the stump. But clearly I was in heaven. Rooted yet rising.

Did you do anything special to usher in spring? (Or, for my southern hemisphere friends, autumn?)