Across the front of today's paper is splashed: "Hottest summer in Queensland's history!" I was chatting to some mums at netball the other day and they were all complaining that it was the hottest summer they could remember, not having anything to compare it with I had to trust them and it appears they were right. There were 64 days above 30 degrees. That's a lot of sweating!
It's funny, because while it was hot, it didn't feel especially hot to me. Sure it was warm and I sighed in the humidity, but I also noticed that my kids could still play outside and there was a breeze and cool changes. I guess those long, long hot Dubai summer's have steered me well. Before we moved to Brisbane, so many people said to me: "Why would you move there, it's so hot!", but when you live through months and months of temperatures that never dip below 38 day or night it's a relative thing.
My kids, like most kids, are prone to a hyperbole. They often have "the best day ever" or "the worst day of my life" or "the toughest life". I often irritate them when they say something is "the worst thing ever" that their life must be pretty good that's as bad as it gets.
Us humans generally go through life looking out from just one perspective, after all, that's what we know. Then occasionally we're shown another perspective or viewpoint or something changes our perspective and it's like waking up. Oh my goodness, that same old outlook appears completely different! It's like being in a new world and we can't remember how the old view looked.
Over the weekend, I jumped into the pool by myself a couple of time (being the hottest summer ever, after all). I floated and looked up at the clouds and they swirled in the blue above me. I started to feel a little queasy as I wasn't exactly sure where I was as floated around, was I about to bang my head on the wall? Which way was which? It was relaxing and unsettling at the same time. The pool that I look out at each day seemed like a whole new place.
Most arguments we have are because we feel like people can't see the world the way we see it. And, of course, we believe we're seeing the world in the 'most true' way. I know that I get so frustrated when I look at people who are bogged down by what they see as 'the right thing', not realising what they're missing or who they're hurting, wishing they could see something just out of their line of vision. Thinking that if they took a look from a different angle, or from a different viewpoint a whole new world might just open up.
I need to remind myself of this constantly, even if it feels strange or makes me queasy. We might not want to look from another perspective, we might be afraid that we'll discover that our vision isn't quite what we thought it was. That thing we felt was so strong and so true, that thing that has hypnotised us, actually looks a bit fake. Like when you're in the cheap seats of a magic show and you can just see the fishing line the magician is holding. Or when you're on the side at the theatre and can grab a glimpse backstage of the actors changing costume.
Perspective changes everything.