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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Remembering Hot Summer Days

By Gary Miller

Unless you are in school, the summer is not considered to be most people’s favorite time of year. We usually choose the spring or fall because of the comfortable temperatures and the changes that can be easily seen in the environment around us.

In the spring the trees bloom, the plants grow, and the wildlife is preparing for new life. In the fall those same trees, plants, and wildlife prepare for the colder and dormant days of winter.

But what about the summer? As a child these were my favorite days. The hotter the sun got the better the swimming pool felt. I can’t ever remember complaining about the heat when I was young. Now, I am tempted to do it every day. It seems when I was young my tolerance for the extremes was greater. Not only was I unaffected by the heat but I loved to play for hours in the snow; and how mad some of my cranky neighbors would get when the neighborhood kids turned their roads into a giant slalom course (The cranky ones are always the ones that forgot what it was like to be a youngster).

Today, extremes are still something that we “adults” like to leave to the teenagers. We dare not take risk and we had rather live our lives in a consistent 70-degree temperature. Some of us will even move from north to south during the year just to follow this comfort. Have you ever noticed how many of us will leave an air-conditioned house; drive in an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned gym, in order to sweat? Anything else would be too extreme. It’s like saying, “I will only sacrifice under certain circumstances and within certain parameters.” I guess one could say that we have come a long way – or maybe we have stayed where we are a long time.

The truth is anyone can participate in the seasons of comfort. Anyone can climb out of their comfortable surroundings when they know the ones they are climbing into are just as comfortable. But in order to get the most out of our year, and our life, we must be willing to embrace the seasons that are extreme. They are the ones that will always call you out of your comfort, out of what you are sure of, and into an area that you have not dared enter since you were a child. Your childhood was not meant to be the only days for extreme living. It was meant to show you that if you only live your adult life in comfort, you will miss some of the greatest things God had planned for you.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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