The summer is upon us!

Ok, so it might only be upon us here in Phoenix. But in our defense, we had one record breaking day in of over 100 followed by a month of chilly, rainy, and miserable in my opinion. Northern Arizona was getting blizzards just a week ago. However, we are finally into the “hot months” as most people call it here, since it’s not “technically” summer yet. I personally LOVE this weather, while the majority of people I meet, hate it with a passion, but love it here the rest of the year.

But really, how can you beat clear blue skies as far as you can see, surrounding mountains, bright sunshine, and plenty of swimming opportunities? It sounds like the life to me. All I need is a frozen drink and a beach nearby for me to have found heaven. Of course, the closest real beach is like 5 hours away…. but I digress.

Whenever the triple digits finally come to the Valley of the Sun, people start evacuating. The snow birds go to where they are from, usually the Midwest and Canada. Traffic starts to get weird because driver’s brains are like eggs in a frying pan. Weekends in town are fairly empty because most people go to the high country to escape the heat, or they only come out once the sun is down. It’s an interesting time here.

Now, I know that right now as I’m typing this, there are some catastrophic weather and disasters happening worldwide. I want to take a moment to acknowledge those storms and the people suffering within them. There is major flooding in parts of the US and extreme droughts plaguing other parts. There’s been earthquakes and volcanoes active all over the world, sparking massive damage and deaths. My heart goes out to each of these areas and I truly hope for peace and healing to come their ways. I encourage everyone that reads this blog to find ways to help, if they can. The destruction is real and the devastation is also.

I was reading an article earlier this week about “El Nino” being the cause for the crazy weather we’re having all over the world this year, and really it started late last summer. Here in AZ we had extreme flooding, worse than recorded in decades. We got our average annual rainfall in one day and it was bad for drivers who were stranded on the highways in neck deep water, it was bad for businesses that had major destruction, and at the same time, it was very good for our plants and gardens across the state. The mountains were green with life and animals had plenty to eat in these areas. When this happened, I was immediately concerned for the wildfires that will likely come this summer. With all of those plants turning brown and dry, there will be abundant kindling for these fires. Much of the Southwest burned to a crisp in the last few years and I am still worried that can happen with all the vegetation.

I am one to understand that fires are necessary to spring new life sometimes. With destruction comes amazing rebirth. However, again, my heart goes out to the firefighters that risk their lives and sometimes pay the ultimate price for doing their jobs, as well as homeowners and business owners that can and do lose everything they have worked for. In addition to that though, my heart goes out to the animals affected by floods and fires. They lose precious habitats and are forced into more populated areas, only to be killed or starved. Urban sprawl has only made this worse.

I’m sure that you’re wondering by now how most of this applies to happiness, or anything really. Well, I think that while I am happy that the weather is getting warmer and more “summery” here, I think that it’s also really important to acknowledge that there are creatures suffering as well. I hope that their suffering is minimal and goes by quickly. I also hope that it leads to their personal happiness in the very near future as well.

The take away from this idea is that a person can be happy for themselves and simultaneously hopeful for others. This is what I think some people forget. It is possible for a person to be happy and sad for others, these feelings are not a zero-sum game. By me being joyful, someone else does not have to suffer, and vice-versa. Often, I think we forget this fact. It is also possible to spread your joy and multiply it for others and yourself. A candle does not go out by lighting another candle, there is juts now more light in the room. Remember this folks and have a wonderful weekend!

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~ by wendemachete on May 30, 2015.

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