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Taking care of Self and others

hydrated heart rock available for moss to grow
hydrated heart rock available for moss to grow
photo taken by Thomas Fisher

We are getting ready for our next few days of really warm weather here in northern California - and we are thinking "just a bit more" and we can handle it.

But we know we can handle it because we have done so before. This isn't the first hot spell we have had this year - and it probably won't be the last one, either.

Taking care of ourselves so that we can be "there" for others is a matter of awareness. It is a matter of breathing more deeply and slowly, drinking more water, keeping our hearts in steady rhythm and realizing that God IS in the details - just as He always is.

Allow your senses enough time to relax and take everything one step at a time. There is no need to hurry through your tasks - you will certainly get overheated, even in air conditioning. This is a perfect excuse to leisurely assess what needs to be done and what can be put off for a couple of days. You don't have to stick to a pre-arranged schedule that you foisted upon yourself. Just breathe and go with the flow.

Take a look out your window to watch how the birds are handling the weather. They spend more time beneath the bushes where the ground is cooler. They venture out for nourishment. But it is in the early mornings and the evenings when they sit in the trees and sing about their days and their lives. If you have a bird bath beneath the trees in your yard, you might give it a refreshing change every morning. They could certainly use the moisture. You do too! It's said that by the time you feel thirsty, you've waited too long and are already on the way toward dehydration. And no - coffee, tea and sodas don't count as hydration.

My husband even puts water out for a bright green lizard we have seen occasionally. He (or maybe she) has lived within the ivy that blankets a small circle beneath our fruitless mulberry tree. We have seen him out of the corner of our eyes as he scurries into the ivy. We've also seen a neighborhood cat sitting nearby with her eyes focused on the ivy. So, even with a tail found now and again in the lawn, we believe he is a crafty fellow and has lived a long life. The last time I did see him long enough to get an idea of his size, he was almost eight inches, not counting his tail (which was fully affixed to his body).

So, even when we are honoring the water usage requirements in our area, we are also mindful of the natural requirements of the birds, squirrels, lizards and neighborhood cats who occasionally frequent our yard to see what might be the fair of the day. We are taking care of ourselves, exercising in the early part of the day, drinking sufficient water - my husband just walked into the computer room to see if I was drinking mine - and making sure that we eat more fresh veggies and fruit so that we don't bog down our digestion with heavy carbs.

Some times we'll put the extra bread crusts out for the animals - they've been a bit scarce lately. bread crusts and animals... But we'll be healthy and here to watch for what might be needed to supplement the needs of the lovely animals, insects and reptiles that God has gifted us.