This summer has been cool. I mean cool, as in hardly above 60 degrees. And wet. It’s cold and damp in the house. I’ve turned the heat off for the season, so we’re sitting around in wool socks and sweatshirts, even a down vest in the evening.

I may be uncomfortable, but the plant world is loving it. The woods are as lush as I’ve ever seen them. My garden is fabulous and I hardly have to water. The grass is growing every minute and quickly out of control. I don’t have much of a yard, but I also don’t have a mower. I trade with my neighbor—when he mows his yard he also mows mine, and when I bake I also bake something for him. It’s a very win-win-win situation: I get my yard mowed, he gets fresh bakery, and the oven warms up my house!

The Teachers have taught me a lot about life. One enduring lesson is that there are gifts and losses in every moment. Like the above situation—I’m tired of being cold, but there’s zero forest fire danger, and I am motivated to bake more.   How do I choose what’s a bummer and what’s an opportunity?

I notice that I have been somewhat down in the dumps lately about my cancer treatment recovery. I had to retire from from my job, I nap a lot, and I can only do one or two things a day. These things feel like negatives. I’m only 55. Is this what it’s like to be 70? But maybe this is a gift—I’m only 55 and I’ve already retired, get to take naps, and only have to do one or two things a day! Isn’t this the life we all dream about when we’re working?!!