Feel The Heat!

This week a heat wave gripped central and eastern Canada and the north eastern states. Millions of people ran from air conditioned place to air conditioned place attempting to stay cool.

I was curious about the behaviour of people and started asking questions. What I found surprising was that the people who were complaining most about the heat also enjoy traveling south for vacations where the temperatures are even higher than they were here this week. In fact, people from the north literally flock to the south in the winter to escape the cold drab landscape. Flocking to a climate we complain about and have trouble coping with at home.

I thought back to a year I spent some time in New Orleans in the summer. Sweltering hot it was, but there was something different about how people responded to the heat. They stopped, sat on their front porches with cool lemonade and fanned themselves. Those with a bit more energy walked the neighbourhoods talking to the folks fanning themselves on the porches. There was a sense of community. Heat is part of the culture, what binds them together. At night in the quarter, every establishment leaves its doors and windows open. Music mingles with the air adding a certain sultriness to the heat that only can be experienced in New Orleans.

This week I watched my dogs. They did little else but lie in the coolest spot they could find. But my schedule didn’t change. I still had deadlines to meet, briefings to attend, projects to take on, life goes on – because of air conditioning.

Air conditioning was only invented in the early 1900s, yet we can no longer live without it. It is one of the worst forms of pollution yet it is something that we are now designed for. Many people live in developments without a single tree to cool them. Many shorelines are private now reducing people’s access to the lakes and waterways they could use to cool themselves. We’ve lost the culture of summer when people slowed to a summer like pace, and we’ve sadly lost something natural about the cycle of the seasons.

The heat wave broke in a celebratory way on Friday morning with a delightful rainfall. Having endured a hectic sleepless week in the heat without air conditioning, I ran around in the rain with glee. It felt amazing. It felt like a reward. It felt natural.

In the end, we cannot depend on electricity to sooth us indefinitely. It is not guaranteed. We need to be able to cope with our planet’s conditions naturally. We need to slow down when it’s hot and cuddle up when it’s cold. Most importantly, we need to sit on our front porches with cool lemonade and get to know our neighbours. Together, we can establish a way of living that feels more natural, builds stronger communities and strengthens our tolerance for life on our beautiful blue planet.

Wishing you a week of meaningful insights.

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1 comment

  • dankitti


    Maybe it's all about Commonality, especially the cuddling up when it's cold and cold lemonade and porches & things. That's always fun.

    Maybe it's all about Commonality, especially the cuddling up when it's cold and cold lemonade and porches & things. That's always fun.

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