Dark Days and Rainbows — Appreciating It All
This morning as the rain stops and starts, and the sun goes under for a good long while and then comes out blazing and brilliant and all happy about the stir it causes, I think of our lives and how they are like that….
I don’t know. I keep having to remind myself that dark and light can be equally valuable, and I’ve been around the bend a few times!
All of us know the power of how we think about our life story, whether we see a cloudy future — or something brighter. Jean Houston, in “A Passion for the Possible,” talks about a woman who thought about her life as a play with an unhappy ending until a friend sent her an Emily Dickinson poem that spoke of sumptuous despair. She thought to herself, “How wonderful to rise out of my piddling desperation to a sumptuous celebration of my condition!”
This woman began to think of richer words to describe her feelings, and one thing led to another until she remembered that as a teenager she used to write poetry. She began to write again. One day, she sent a poem to her married daughter, who responded with a poem of her own. Soon they were talking on the phone and getting closer than they had been in years. On a whim, she offered to read one of her poems to her friends, who were quite taken with it. Within a week they had a poetry-writing circle. Pretty soon she was creating poetry circles for her church group and within a year, she was invited to create poetry circles for inner-city women. She became a volunteer to be a Friend in Court for teenage girls in trouble and became a social activist helping families.
Her life today is full of adventure and challenge and deliciousness, all because she saw value in revising and rethinking her interpretation of “cloudy skies.” Dark days were just fine after all. In fact, they became sumptuous and full of rich meaning.
She opened to this new and more inclusive view of things, which clearly beckoned the sun and rousing adventure as well as an ever-widening circle of positive influence.
So here’s to the weather in our lives — blazing sun, quiet and oppressive heat, strong and prevailing winds, dog days of summer, frigid winters, unrelenting rain, gentle showers, wild thunder — all of it. May you find delicious drops of creativity, love, awareness and surprising gifts in every well-weathered corner of your world.