An air conditioned life

We finally completed (or nearly completed) the deck on the back of our house.  We put an addition on 4 years ago when my grandma came to live with us, and I’ve been anticipating this deck to be finished ever since.  I love being outdoors.  I love eating outside, checking on the gardens, and spending time with my children in the waning hours of day.

When we lived in the inner city of Columbus, I fondly recall late nights sitting with my love on our old broken porch.  We would sit in the dark dreaming about the future and spin the web for the life we are now living.

I’ve been reflecting on those nights and am surprised at how little time we’ve spent out on the deck after the kids are quieted in their beds.  Perhaps it’s because we’re older, or busier, or more tired, but it hit me that here we have air conditioning and there we did not.  When the heat was oppressive the porch was an escape, but now we have to leave climate controlled comfort to sit where the bug bites and summer heat smothers.

“Battle with unconditioned breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensional life; stay away from screens.”
                                                                                                     -Wendell Berry

It makes me want to turn the A/C off and throw the windows open more often.  Grab the box fans and sweat through the summer weeks that seem so short once the dull days of winter are upon us.

We’ve never taken our kids tent camping and were recently talking with our boys who are interested in going.  Our oldest was talking about feeling uncomfortable in the heat of the day and the cool of the night if we were in a tent (he was trying to convince us to get a camper) and Brad said, “But that’s the benefit to tent camping.  You get to feel all the things and connect with nature in a way you never could if you weren’t forced to be out in it.”

I’m happy to have the luxury of central air here.  I am absolutely less grumpy during those dog days of summer, but there’s something that we miss when we jump from climate controlled space to climate controlled space.  The earth is here for us to experience, and I for one will be throwing the windows open more often to feel what the wind will bring my way.

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