My body’s having an unhealthy relationship with the weather.

Unhealthy and predictable. I’ve been walking this nature trail for less than half an hour, and already the heat is making me sick. I told my body this would happen. She will not listen. She insists she can handle the weather. “The weather’s okay,” she says. “Don’t blame the weather,” she says. “The weather will change,” she says.

My body is so naive. Change? You bet. Guaranteed. First, the heat. Then, in a month or so, the friskiness, skipping through crunchy leaves. The air will smell clean. Stick around. Next comes the big chill. Frostbite.

But first, today, the heat.

Weather says, “Come outside, baby. Today things will be different, you’ll see.” And my body looks up into Weather’s hypnotic blue sky. The breeze slips beneath her tank top and caresses her skin. The wind moans through the trees. The temperature rises. Sweat rolls down her collarbone. She becomes lightheaded.

Next thing you know, I have to drive her home.

Wake up, Body. Weather’s no good for you. Humidity makes you nauseous. Thunderstorms give you headaches. Pollen suffocates you. Your feet swell. That’s attractive.

Even when I was fourteen I knew Weather was wrong for my body. Back when Dad moved the family from Iowa to California, I sat in the back seat and vowed never to return to Des Moines. No more heat blisters in the summer, no more frozen toes in the winter. Goodbye, Weather. Good riddance.

Weather toyed with me. I took the golden years in California for granted. And when I was middle-aged, smug, and overconfident, Weather lured my body to Missouri.

Poor Body is so enmeshed with Weather, it’s embarrassing. Their relationship is interfering with my social life. She won’t let me get through Tuesday night yoga class. Halfway through class, my body lies on the mat like somebody pulled the plug. Is she depressed? She’s not talking to me. All I know is, I have to drive her home, again. On Saturday morning, she stays in bed, moons about the weather. I miss an entire yoga class, which is like missing an hour and a half of breathing. I thought my body liked yoga. Sunday, we miss hiking club. Friday, we miss writers group.

I’m sorry to complain, but really, it’s too much. Since Weather came into our lives, all my body wants to do is stay home and drink.

Face it, Body. Weather’s out of your league. Too experienced for you. Look at him, traveling the globe. He won’t ever settle down. That ego. Always the center of attention: hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts. Volcanoes, for God’s sake. And the age difference. He’s a billion years old if he’s a day.

My body’s too sensitive for Weather. She’s going to keep getting hurt. I’m fed up. I’ve lost patience. It’s time to end this unhealthy relationship. I’m calling in chiropractors, massage therapists, yoga teachers, pharmacists, and meteorologists.

We’re staging an intervention.

Dawn Downey

Dawn Downey writes to incite compassion. Whether she’s challenged by Mother Nature or the nature of her wild mind, she hopes readers will recognize themselves in her stories—and then lovingly accept their own wild minds. Downey is the author of Blindsided: Essays from the Only Black Woman in the Room; Searching for My Heart: Essays about Love; From Dawn to Daylight: Essays; and Stumbling Toward the Buddha: Stories about Tripping over My Principles on the Road to Transformation. Learn more at