Each winter I dread the summer. Hot weather looms as an unbearable time of year. Last September all I could think of was how to get away from the heat.

This season I am embracing the warm weather. No more complaining; no more thoughts of leaving for three months. And lo and behold: once I changed my attitude, my eyes opened to a vista of beauty.

Because of the temperature, I walk the dogs when it gets light. Each morning, clouds paint the canvas of the sky. Not only are the clouds there to say hello but when the sun creeps up over the mountain, the flowers wake up to gaze at the golden glow of the horizon.

During the monsoon season, thunder and lightning decorate the heavens above. Recently I was awakened by the crash of thunder so loud I feared lightning would hit the house. My bedroom was illuminated by a series of bright light, followed by loud kabooms. Mindful of being told not to go near a window during an electrical storm, I could not resist pulling back the curtains. When the next bolt struck, it was blinding. I quickly drew the drapes.

My dog, Charlie, was scared to death, trembling like a leaf in the wind as he jumped into bed to lie next to me. As if he were a child, I covered him with the sheet while I thrilled to the flashes of light and thunderous applause of nature’s way to thank the water that subsequently fell from the skies. Falling asleep to the patter of rain was euphoric.

When I awakened I expected to see my patio and back yard flooded. Instead, the world looked green, the flowers were brilliantly colored and the air was cool.

How many poems have been written to describe the beauty of the Tucson twilight? How many photographers have captured the vibrant sunsets causing us to gasp with pleasure? My personal favorite is when the sun is behind the clouds, giving the impression that we live under a biosphere filled with clouds that have silver linings. Magnificent!

Part of my accepting the weather coincides with a mellowness of spirit that has invaded my mind in the last several months. This change has manifested itself with a gentler understanding of another person’s viewpoint. The best way to describe what’s happening is that I can now imagine walking in another person’s shoes. I’m less judgmental, kinder and softer perhaps.

There was a popular song years ago that said “the best things in life are free.” Some of the things I cherish most are the birds outside my window, the glorious clouds and the splendid sunsets. Am I getting weak in my old age? Or just humbled by the fabulous world I am blessed to live in?

Alexis Powers is the author of several books and lives on the northwest side. Email her at northwest@tucson.com or view her website at www.alexis-powers.com