“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
There’s this thing up in the sky today. It’s round and golden, hazy and fuzzy around the edges. Rays of light angle out from it, beams of brightness tumble down onto the ground below. It’s welcoming and warm, and it’s turning the mountains of snow into molehills. Okay, that last part is a total exaggeration, but the snow is starting to melt a bit, and with a high of forty-five today, it almost feels like spring outside. Seriously, with the way this winter has been holding much of the country in its icy grasp, the prospect of temperatures in the forties feels like a heat wave. I’m currently pondering whether the sidewalks are clear enough to take a walk.
It’s amazing what a splash of sunshine can do for the spirit. It sets it on fire, baths it with luminance. It infuses a sense of happiness, of freedom, this sense of being alive and ready to embrace the world. For me, anyway. Of course, it’s also tempting to throw open a window, breathe in the fresh air, and do a little happy dance. I’m refraining from that last part since my dancing skills leave something to be desired, but that won’t stop me from doing the first two. February 6th, and there isn’t ice clinging to the tree branches. There isn’t snow fluttering through the air. There isn’t a monotone sky that’s shrouded with weepy clouds. There’s a blue sky. One with fluffy, cotton candy clouds. One with that glowing bubble of warmth. And sure, there’s more snow and cold temperatures in the forecast for later this week. Sure, we’ll be reminded that winter is far from over. But for today, why not take the time to enjoy this little sneak peek that Mother Nature’s giving us?
We can choose to see the world through that monochromatic lens, or we can opt to see the sunshine even when it’s not there. Because, like the stars, it’s always up in the sky, even when it’s hidden from view. Maybe there are clouds shielding it, maybe there’s rain and snow, but eventually, with some time, patience, and hope, the sun always breaks through again. There’s a paragraph toward the beginning of Reflections of Me that goes like this:
The night sky is dark, a velvet backdrop that’s home to a sea of sparkles as more and more stars make their grand reappearance. I ponder that as I stare up at them. Day after day, night after night, it’s always the same. Sunrise, sunset, moon and stars. The pattern holds steady no matter where you are in the world, no matter who you are. It’s a constant. Even when clouds overshadow the rays of light, when storms darken the horizon, the sun and the stars are still there. We may not be able to see them, but we’re still as sure of their existence as we are of our own.
Even when storms darken the horizon – maybe especially when storms darken the horizon – that’s when it’s most important to keep working and keep wishing. We can add our own sunshine to any situation, and then, when we’re least expecting it, the real deal will come back to sparkle and glisten. Literally, figuratively, and everywhere in between, you can’t beat that.
Well … maybe throwing in a milkshake wouldn’t hurt. Those are a sure sign of spring, right?