I have had that stupid Jordin Sparks song, “No Air” in my head for the past several days. Not because I am lamenting over some unrequited love, but because we literally have no air [conditioning] at my house. Today marks the sixth day we have been without air conditioning, meaning I have slept through five nights without any air conditioning.
Now, you probably think this is going to lead to some sort of cheesy “This has reminded me of how ungrateful I am for the things I have” or “We are such spoiled Americans….” but I hope you know me better than to expect some sort of predictable response. I’ll be flat out honest, I’ve been pissed that we’ve had no air conditioning. On the fourth day, I was just plain irritated and made sure everyone in my house knew how unhappy I was (Philippians 2:14 flew out the window for a few hours).
I have been reminded of how fortunate we are to have air conditioning and I have been reminded of how spoiled I am and how much I rely on modern conveniences over the past week. But, even more than that, I’ve been reminded of the true simplicity of life.
Losing air conditioning is a lot like losing electricity. It gives you the freedom to do things you would normally not do or that you might forget you can do. One of the highlights of the past six days was eating a delicious dinner on the back porch… looking at and talking about the stars, admiring the treeline behind my house and how beautiful it is as the sun sets, and watching three graceful deer graze in the pasture. Of course, we can eat outside anytime we please. But, this time was special. It was relief rather than just for fun.
I also slept with the windows open in my bedroom for the first time since we moved into our house. I didn’t even know we had screens on our windows – that’s how out of touch I am with my own house!! I’ve had the windows open for three days straight and have LOVED sleeping with them open! The morning dew and gentle breeze stirs up the fragrances of spring just enough to wake me up and entice me to get out of bed.
Today is the first day in six days that I have worn my hair down. Because it’s been so hot and humid inside, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is to dry and straighten my hair. Normally this is a big deal for me – not that I’m totally superficial, but…. I like my hair to look straight and neat. Not drying my hair has drastically cut down on the time it takes for me to get ready… giving me more time to read and relax in the morning before heading off for a busy day.
I have joked that I’ve treated the past few days without air conditioning as a sort of at-home mission trip. On the first couple of days, I tried to pretend I was back in Honduras, sleeping just two feet from a rickety ceiling fan and praying my head wouldn’t get chopped off if I needed to get up in the middle of the night. Having “no air” has reminded me of my short time in Gualaco and of how happy I was when we were there. No air conditioning, unreliable water and electricity, sweltering heat, and little sleep didn’t keep me from enjoying myself. Instead, it gave me the freedom to enjoy the cool morning and nighttime air, to play games with my friends under the porch fans, and to thank God for his air conditioning.
“No air” at home has reminded me of those same freedoms. Freedom to live a little more simply and to enjoy what God has given me. Freedom from dependency on man-made appliances. Freedom to celebrate God’s beautiful earth.
But, I won’t lie… I’m thrilled that the air conditioning is supposed to be fixed today. Hopefully the realizations of this experience won’t fade as the air begins to cool my house. 🙂