We have had a week of dog days in the Ozarks. The air seemed to cling to my skin, heavy and damp and everything became slow and quiet in the oppressive heat. True to my resolution of not using the clothes dryer, I've been hanging my laundry out even though it has taken much longer to dry. Not even the night with its twinkling display of fireflies brought relief.
Then came a cold front in an unbridled display of lightning and wind. Fierce rain beat leaf and branch, sparing only the supple and strong while leaving the weak scattered among gnarled roots. Yet the storm left paradise in its violent wake. Cotton clouds chased each other through today's sea blue sky. A playful breeze stroked the leaves into a joyous dance. It was a perfect drying day.
As I pinned a succession of socks, shirts, and sheets to the line, I reflected on how cut off from our surroundings we have become. In the name of comfort and convenience we have shut ourselves away from the world outside. We slip quickly from heated or cooled home to climate-controlled car. Instead of enjoying the array of beauty each season displays, we try to create sameness. We spare ourselves some discomfort in this pursuit, but what are we giving up? Is comfort worth missing the glowing dance of fireflies on a hot summer night, the glittering lace of frost on buff winter grass, or the shy faces of new violets on a rainy spring morning?