Clear night skies alive with twinkling stars, glittering planets and wondering hearts are one of my favorite things in life. They radiate hope, clarity and offer the good possibility of a beautiful blue sky once the earth shifts toward the sun’s rays. Spending time under the stars energizes my spirit, even on the morning’s I can barely open my eyes to appreciate them.
Compare that crystal clear view to this morning when the earth’s canopy offers a completely different experience. A low cloud bank holds in the sound instead of allowing it to dance off into the Milky Way. Instead of releasing to the chorus of stars, all that is happening under the blanket of night is pressed close to the earth and it feels condensed and heavy.
As I stand under the clouds, with the mist on my face, it reminds of being underneath a hefty pile of quilts. While I love the coziness and security it offers, there is a limit to the weight and eventually I throw it off in relief and freedom to stretch my limbs and wiggle my toes. And so it is with low lying clouds that continue to hover, day after day, obscuring the stars in the night, and the sun during the day.
We are exhausted under the weight of the emotional blanket we are living under.
Days without sun dampen spirits and impact one’s quality of life. Low level emotional clouds have been sitting on us for quite a while; some would say it has been 8 months, others would argue for 4 years and still others would say it has been much longer. The heavy thick clouds of grief and loss obscure our vision. We can’t see past the dense, thick fog of life as it is today.
Last weekend brought rain and cold. Toward the end of the afternoon, my “glass half full” self spotted a small opening of blue sky within the cold, gray of the day. I pointed this out to my “glass half empty” husband saying, “Oh look, blue sky!” Facing in a different direction, with a smirk he snidely remarked, “All I see is gray.”
There are days when all we see is gray and dark. It hovers over us and moves in us, settling in our spirits, bringing a kind of fog that makes it impossible to imagine what is ahead. It is hard to navigate, and it can be overwhelming. Then there are days where there is a small bit of blue sky, and I will forever cheer its presence. We need the ability to both to see where the dark clouds are forming, and where the breaks of sunlight are starting to shine. Whether we see gray, or are on the search for a bit of blue, the important thing to remember, is that we are not alone. We are not stuck in the fog, without the ability to reach out for another’s hand.
I am sure you will agree, we all want to throw off this weight we feel. I sure do. It is the bits of blue sky that get me through the days and weeks of gray. It is kindness expressed as a young person picks up groceries for an elderly neighbor, the beauty of nature in the change of season, the nurturing, sustaining actions given to strangers. It is in the colorful drawings of a grateful child to a healthcare worker or a phone call to check in on a friend. It is in these bits of light that the sky begins to open up and the darkness parts.
The clouds aren’t moving away anytime soon. However we can learn to navigate the dark, through creating our own bits of blue sky. This is certainly one of the great lessons we have the opportunity to learn in these days. Perhaps if we all create an opening of blue in the canopy of clouds, the light that shines through all of those openings will overcome the darkness.
Grab a friend and go create openings of blue.