Walking home yesterday, even the pavement felt soggy underfoot. It’s become perpetually wet here – not merely damp. Everything is slick and sloppily waterlogged.
I have good shoes with treads that keep me from falling ass over tea kettle. They keep my feet warm and dry. My hearty, water-repellent parka prevents me from getting wet-through and chilled to the bone. The single item I carry that isn’t safe in this weather is my bag. On one occasion, I narrowly escaped drenching my computer. Steps have now been taken to avoid the ruination of that valuable piece of kit. So, all in all, I am soldiering on despite this weather. It could be much worse.
I used to like the rain a lot. During my “dark” period – a period that lasted decades – I longed for it. Yesterday, with water dripping off my nose and my fingertips getting colder by the second, I questioned the soundness of that longing. Then, with a flash, I found myself there. With vivid clarity, I was smack dab in the middle of those feelings from so long ago, feelings I clung to with fierce determination. And just as suddenly, I understood the lure of the rain and the seductive power of the night.
In the dark, life’s hard edges are less noticeable. Try as we might, all we see are points of light shining above us, all around us, and even beneath our feet on, albeit, rare occasions. A smile can become a candle in the shadows, the city a celestial galaxy. When the world around us is black we become grey to prying eyes and judgmental glances and are finally able to rest, drop our guard. In the dark, the relentless stimulation of life in the shiny light of day is subdued. Peace visits.
Of course, I’m sharing one perspective – my own – because in the rain and waning dusk I suddenly understand why I remained enamoured of the night for so long while others loathed it, afraid of what might be hiding in darkened corners.
My longing for rain and gloom allowed me to hide, to run from all the things I hated – mainly myself. The night supported my dreams – dreams of being someone else. There, I also found a peace of sorts, too, because I had no tools for coping with emotions that ran amuck in the daylight. What I realize now is that the fears I experienced in the light of day are no different than fearing shadows in the dark. They are equally as destructive.
Letting go of any blame of others as well as ourselves and taking full responsibility for every element of our life is not always easy but once we do, it’s quite illuminating. The warmth and calm I drew from the dark all those years ago still comforts me today, but I no longer hide there. I’m now enamoured of sunny days, too, completely able to cherish what I see so vividly in the day’s light.
As the holiday season comes upon us, I have an extra special wish. Much of what happens around us can seem beyond our comprehension, but if we drill down it can be easier to allow compassion and release judgment. Often, we point a defiant finger and name call without having all the facts. That’s a hard edge shoved against a person who might well be up against an edge you’ve never come close to feeling. It matters not what that edge is, only that you’ve been unkind and short-sighted in your assumptions. So, my wish is that we all remember what our hardest day was like and how it hurt so badly. Now, I wish that we all recall our best and brightest day. How does that feel? Wouldn’t you rather help someone else feel like you did on your best day? I know I would.