The humidity makes it feel as if we’re wading through the air. We stay warm because the conditions mean our skin’s evaporative cooling process cannot work as quickly. As a result, we feel sticky and heavy. We’re in an environment that makes us not work correctly.
My daughter and I walk in the forest to collect leaves for her tree identification project. On the way home, we’re slouched over, breathing heavily, and soaked with sweat. Ordinarily, we’d been running this same route with freedom and ease. But not today. The humidity sabotages us.
In the haze of humidity, when all hope seems lost and with a half mile left to go, a neighbor calls out: “Do you need to stop in for some air conditioning and a popsicle?”
We don’t even respond. We just walk like zombies straight into that neighbor’s home and sit in the kitchen. We drink ice water and suck on popsicles in the cool air conditioning.
I remember that when we’re in environments that inhibit us, we must carry ourselves to places of rest and refreshment. And we must be the one offering refuge like my observant and compassionate neighbor.
We’re stay a while and cool off. We return to normal.
We’re new people when we leave.