It always amazes me how good it makes me feel to open my eyes and see sunshine. Living in a desert climate I'm grateful for the brilliant light that we are graced with.
I lived in the Northwest for almost 20 years. I tried to learn to love the shade and shadow as the natives did. It never really happened. There was one winter with ninety days in a row that the sun NEVER showed up! People were so cranky! It wasn't the rain that made me grumpy...it was the GRAY!
I find that this weather discussion is an excellent analogy for living. How many times do we wake up to find difficulty facing us? Many times we wake up to gray days or rainy days (symbolically). A teen has started experimenting with drugs, your husband is addicted to pornography, or you're going through postpartum depression. There are ever so many problems that can arise in life.
In Portland when the sun refused its warming light my husband put in broad spectrum lights throughout our house. There was a lamp that you could buy that was supposed to mimic the effect of sunlight. There were gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
One of the most important lessons that I have learned about life is that rough times come BUT THEY ALSO GO! Yesterday I was in horrible, all encompassing pain. I have several medical conditions that cause pain. Usually I can keep the pain at a manageable level but that huge change in barometric pressure seems to make pain encompass me at the cellular level.
Then the very next day, today, I awakened to the shining sun. I moved out of bed, took the animals outside, started to check Facebook and realized, "That horrible pain is gone!" HOORAY! I did a happy dance. (It's a good thing that I was inside at that point).
I never would request the pain filled days, or the challenge laden days. A friend recently said to me, "I would like a little boredom, just for awhile." I can concur with that assessment if that means that my pain is limited, and I feel well enough to conquer the necessities of the day.
At the same time, I would not give away the lessons learned about empathy, strength, and thriving through those hard times, those days when I struggle to even have the sunshine in my soul. This is one of the paradoxes of life. To truly understand happiness you need to face sadness. Joy is more fully felt after sorrow. There is a reason for the word bittersweet.
Sometimes it feels as though there is no break between hard, challenging thing in life. At that point you must create that break! My husband was in the hospital at one point for six weeks. I was there with him throughout. One bleak night I knew that I had to do something to shore up my sagging spirits.
I imagined that Nyle and I were on a cruise (one of our favorite activities), and I was going to another deck to get a late night snack. I went to the cafe and bought myself a luscious shake. I sat and reviewed all the joyous memories of our cruising days. One of my favorite was snorkeling with my honey. We held hands and swam with our faces inside the water. We saw coral reef, and magically bright colored fish. It was ever so romantic to be linked by our hands while we shared this majestic beauty.
When I returned to the reality of Nyle in the hospital I felt renewed. I could see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Before my little break I felt like there was only another tunnel at the end of the tunnel!
Today, I WILL accomplish necessary beads on a string with no knot on the end types of chores, but I will also dance and sing. The sun is brilliant. Beads of rainy droplets shine on the grass like thousands of diamonds. The birds are joyously enjoying the suns return. I think I'll join those lovely birdies and sing to the sunshine!