Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Illumination

I'm reposting this because I find that I need to hear it. And because lately I'm exulting in being able to feel hope again.

Leaving work one stormy day, I find myself driving out of a rainstorm. A tiny sliver of blue in the distant sky catches my attention. Rays of sunlight falling out of it graze the freshly verdant hills of the Diablo Range, illuminating them against the lowering sky like rich green velvet in a jeweler's case.


Heading north, an ominous thunderhead in my rearview mirror masses against the mountains. To my left, the clouds split to reveal a bright clear-washed sky in bird's-egg-blue. The edge of a ball of blazing yellow peeks out of the billowy cloudbanks. On my right the same scene, reflected brilliantly in the mirrored skyscrapers on the opposite side of the highway, plays like a real-time movie of the sunset on a 500 foot screen. As I look behind me at the oppressive stormclouds and forward to the light-drenched late afternoon sky I am reminded of flying.

Taking off on an airplane on a cloudy day for the first time; as we climbed above the thick gray clouds of a dreary day and into a gloriously clear sunlit sky I realized for the first time, in a seeing-is-believing sort-of way, that the sun was still there when I couldn't see it.

Everyone knows on an intellectual level that clouds only block our source of light, right? That they can't extinguish it. But it doesn't seem that way from an earthbound perspective. "The rain has stopped. The sun is coming out," we say. But the sun hasn't moved. When I saw for myself that the clouds were only a flimsy barrier over my little part of the sky, my perspective suddenly widened. How vast is the cosmos, and how infinitesimal the part of it that I bear witness to.

No matter how much science teaches me about the universe, it seems difficult not to see myself as the center of it most of the time.

Life is like this: Sometimes all we can see is the storm. Gray clouds hide the sun and make us huddle against the rain, heads down, surviving rather than basking. Sometimes, no matter how well we are taught that the storm is only covering our little bit of the sky, that the sun is stronger and just waiting for the clouds to blow past; it seems impossible to believe that we'll ever see blue skies again.

This is for all those who are still in the storm but can see blue skies ahead. Keep moving, dear ones, the sun is waiting for you with outstretched arms, one day soon the storm will be behind you, and you'll glory in the radiance of the sun as you were meant to.

3 comments:

l i s a said...

Were you able to find it or did you have to re-write it?

I'm glad you did.

NightSwimmer said...

Ohhhhh.....! Wonderful.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, keep those arms stretching out, honey! I'm glad something in you seems to have shifted. You deserve a cloudless day (or a million).

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