July is a tricky month. It feels like the height of summer, and certainly the high temperatures signal that directly. When I was much younger I loved the sun and could lie in its golden rays for hours, rolling over every half hour to make sure I tanned the same color on all sides.
As ancient as I am, the sun is no longer such a friend to me and particularly heat. Even when wearing a hat and drinking water constantly, I find myself easily overwhelmed by the heat when venturing outside. A short walk gives me a pounding headache, queasy stomach . . . all signs of heat exhaustion.
This year I am in my new home, Portugal, learning a new culture and climate. Honestly, I’m also fighting the impulse to stay indoors, day in and day out. Its in the 30s this week (as an example), which is the 90s for my US readers, and that is bloody hot for this former Pacific NorthWesterner. I’ve suddenly started staying awake until 2am and sleeping until 11am when really I should be sleeping during the heat of the day and staying up all night, like they do in Spain or Greece.
I’m also, metaphysically, grappling with the upheaval of the last year. Just over a year ago we made the decision to move to Portugal, and it was about a year ago that our timetable moved up to November rather than this year, including retiring from my former work .life of nearly two decades. Plus, I finalized and revised A Witch’s Guide. It’s been a lot.
One practice I’ve enacted here is sitting quietly and giving myself space for whatever emotions need attention. Some days it takes a few minutes, others much longer. Some days I sit in joy, on others I weep. All emotions are given their time and attention equally. I do this to help process all the turmoil and give it a place within my new reality.