Monday, July 5, 2010

Some Like It Hot (not me)

We're in the midst of a heat wave here in the Northeast. In this part of the world a heat wave is defined as "three or more consecutive days over 90 degrees." In Texas and Arizona, three consecutive days in the 90's would be considered a cool wave!

Being an outdoors person, I am not a fan of hot and humid weather. In such weather I get much more exhausted by rowing workouts, even though we row early in the morning. Hiking in such weather isn't appealing, especially because of all of the insects that seem to thrive in the heat.

Yet, I have discovered an outdoor activity that beats the heat: kayaking. Since the water temperature in Long Island Sound is still in the 60's, paddling in a kayak is a pleasant exercise. Yesterday on my kayak excursion, there was a nice breeze that added to the pleasure.

Being in or on the water is a good way to adapt to hot weather. There is something spiritually renewing about cooling off when you're hot. A dip in the pool, a lake or an ocean is oh so refreshing. No wonder water plays a key role in religious rituals like baptism and ablutions. In these rituals water symbolizes not only cleansing, but also life and new life.

Heat waves come and go, but the renewing power of water transcends every kind of weather. Being on water, in water, and drinking water is a source of refreshment and life. What an amazing gift!

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