Mostly I've stayed inside, eating popsicles and ice cream and sitting in the air conditioning, but last evening Dave and I first went for a drive and then a walk. We rolled the windows down in the truck and let the hot air swirl around us. When we walked we could feel the heat pressing down on us. Although it was hot and some would argue miserable, there was a sweetness to it for me. Heat like this reminds me of 10 days that seem so long ago that I spent in India and Nepal. I went shortly after I graduated from high school and have never ever been the same since.
It reminded me of walking the muddy ridges in the rice patty fields to get to someones house who probably didn't want hear what we had to say (we were "missionaries...but I'm not sure how effective our tactic really was, but that's another post for another time), but all the same, they graciously took us in and offered us tea and conversation. This is where I learned to like hot drinks on a hot day.
It reminded me of asking a rice farmer what he thinks about out there in the soggy rice patty all day. He said "That there are too many mosquitoes." Reminding me that people, no matter where they are, are more like us than they are different.
It reminded me of seeing tiny, old, wrinkled women carrying heavy loads of wood or food or some other necessity, and wondering what other burdens they had carried all their lives long.
It reminded me of the relief or rain, or on the days it didn't rain and mid afternoon heat brought life to a screeching halt. We squatted in old store fronts that somehow had Coke and Fanta (it was the middle of nowhere....where do they get soda at?) drinking and cooling and talking and laughing.
It reminded me of the "untouchables" of Calcutta, and made me wonder who are my "untouchables"? Who can't I love?
It reminded me of people who had much less than me, but didn't seem to mind or even know. As long as there was food and shelter and a community, life was ok.
It reminded of me goats and chickens and children and bicycles and cars and rickshaws in the crowded chaotic (sometimes smelly) streets that make up India and wondering if they have more or less accidents then our organized streets here in the States.
It reminded me of sandles salwars and sauries and color. So much color.
It just reminded me of seeing the world differently.
This isn't really a statement on which country, the U.S. or India is better, but it is a commentary on finding the good everywhere and in everything, even if its not what we want, or expect. When it gets hot like it did last week, I'm thankful for the sweat, and the slowing down, and the reminder of another time and another place.
So yes, I'm glad the sweltering heat is gone (for now), but I'm thankful for what it reminds me of. I think I'll go make something curried now. :)
Image from Google Image.