I took the puppy outside the other morning and it hit me: winter in Houston is OVER. The grass was damp, though it had not rained. The air was peppered with wings of bugs both big and small. The familiar taste of humidity was on my tongue. My heart sank as I remembered how difficult it is for me to live here for many months of the year.
I have to admit, this winter was delicious. Enough nights of consecutive cold temps persuaded us to unearth our heated mattress pad; using it brought back fabulous memories of burrowing into bed during typical Oregon frosts. While others were complaining that they had moved to Houston to get away from cold winters, all I could think was that it felt so much more like home. I breathed deeply for four glorious months.
Your breathing changes here during Spring and Summer. Honestly, it does. It becomes shallower, more labored. If you’ve lived here long enough, maybe you don’t notice it. If you’re breathing artificial air for most of your day (which most of us do), maybe it just doesn’t register. But those first few steps out the door, into the heat, the humidity, there are seconds when your breath catches and your body adjusts. It’s all about adjusting here.
I’ve met transplants to this area who have had no difficulty adjusting. I am both impressed and mystified by this. I fear I won’t ever adjust, not to the 8 months out of the year that can sometimes feel like the environment is trying to chew you up and spit you out. “Inhospitable” is how I would describe summers here. Aggressive, antagonistic. I’m flinching with the thought of it.
I am honestly happy for those who are happy here. I know what that’s like to love where you live. There is a security in being able to breath easy knowing that no matter what else is happening in your life, you are where you are supposed to be. There is a strength in being able to draw energy from your environment when you need the renewal.
I don’t feel that here, and though it means I’ve been able to draw strength from deeper places, I miss loving where I live. We have been actively looking at our options. There are so many decisions to be made, so many things that would need to fall into place. So many feelings and futures to consider. I don’t know if it’s time to leave or time to work on my adjustment.
I am just so ready to reflexively smile when I look out my window, drive through my town, or when the breeze blows through my open window. I’ve learned there’s some truth to the idea that who you are is affected by where you are. Though I imagine myself being carried by the wind to a different where from here, I just don’t know what the future holds. Until then, I will try to temper my own will and learn to breath where I am.
This post is part of the Your Life, Your Blog round-up at the Real Life blog. Check it out for links to more fabulous posts from around the blogosphere.