I once read, in a textbook for some course in a Gen Ed requirement, that the nicotine addiction functions differently than many drugs/ stimulants/ addictions.
For most stimulants, folks who partake experience a form of “high” that they always, always yearn to reach again. The book (and, obviously, this is only one professional opinion, and one that could be countered. I don’t really know a whole lot about drugs&stuff) said that, soon after a standard nicotine cigarette was finished, the withdrawal hits quickly and harshly. So the smoker is, really, trying to reach for the “normal” they once knew with every cigarette, the “normal” they knew before their first cigarette.
I thought about that last night, watering my plants.
Summer is my drug.
On the night of the solstice, when sunlight would be most present in all of 2016, after a full day of work and chores and a stack of assignments a mile high, I decided to take a bike ride.
The skin on my right forearm was peeling. I became sunburned when kayaking up north with my sister a week and a half ago (such is the life of the pale-skinned). The sun always feels warmer on sunburned skin, though, so the setting solstice sun felt crispy warm on my arms as I biked. I was wearing floral sunglasses.
As I biked I thought about where I am now, and how grateful I was for where God had placed me at that very moment.
I remembered that once, in an old book, I read an old wives’ tale which fabled that, upon death, one can relive one day from one’s life. Whatever day picked as favorite can be relived–all of the positive emotions and experiences.
While stopped at an intersection, waiting for a car to pass, my foot resting on the curb, I thought to myself, “I could relive this day, this summer solstice of 2016.”
Through grace alone, things were quite good that day. I thought, as I rode, “This is the most I have felt myself in a long time.”
Have you seen the setting sun in these summer skies the past few nights?
Have you caught a firefly?
Have you taken a moment, in the early morning, before the madness of each day begins, to listen to the summer birds? The birds. They will not be here forever, even in a few short weeks they will leave again for the southern states and warmer temperatures.
And I wish this summer high could be bottled, somehow, for other times.
And maybe it could be sold in places like gas stations or liquor stores, in a thick plastic case behind the counter with the cigarettes.
And, when you really needed it, in the dead of winter, you could take a few moments to relive these days of sunlight and warmth and birdsong. Maybe you could take breaks, every day, walking outside with those about to light up, and you could remember, once again, the feel of the setting solstice sun on your peeling sunburned skill.