Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sweet Sweat

Normally I don't like being sticky, hot and dripping. (Wow! That sounds like a gloriously sticky sweet roll right out of the oven...) However, my first thought was that typical humid Michigan summers have their downsides. Doing any kind of outdoor work in mid-summer results in a clothes-soaking, dust-and-dirt-sticking, disheveled appearance.

I recently found myself in this state just as a storm hit and took out the electricity for seven hours. That meant that for the rest of the day I was waiting, hoping, trusting that the power would return so that I could shower and relieve myself of the grime and itchy film of filth all over my body. It was not to be. The power stayed off and the time approached when I was really going to have to do something to get cleaned up. I had a dinner engagement that I didn't want to miss. Fortune was on my side. A unexpected visit from a friend on the other side of town, the side with electricity, provided me with the answer. I packed up a change of clothes and went to her house and was cleaned up with time to spare.

One of the greatest pleasures in life is warm, clean water flowing over a tired, muddy body. You can be exhausted, sure that you have no strength left for anything. But the refreshment of that water rejuvenates and energizes and relaxes. You come out of that bath feeling like a human being again. I'm tempted to get distracted with all the baptismal symbols here, but I don't want to go there just now. The main thing I want to say is that hard work--getting sweaty, dirty and worn out--has rewards. You can see the product of your labors and look forward to the blissful shower to come. That is the sweetness of getting sweaty.


marylea said...

I completely agree. Last summer we lost our electricity and it was in the stretch of hot and humid days. To relieve the heat, I took my dog for a short stroll down the street at about 11pm just before bed so he could get a break from the stifling heat. Despite having him on a short lead, he surprised me by darting at something unseen by me in the field and we were both sprayed by a skunk. Misery ensued as I tried to clean him up in the dark with a flashlight and some small cans of tomato juice. BTW, that doesn't work! :-) Over the past 12 months the stench has worn off of us both, but the memory of that experience is still quite fresh. Loved your post.

Lisa said...

Sprayed by a skunk! That will be a story to treasure for the ages. And now I feel particularly fortunate that I was caught with only my own stink.