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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Searching for Sunrise



I came home in a deep funk tonight.  It was rooted in end-of-the-year work challenges and exacerbated by the seemingly endless winter.  The dark mood seemed to be sealed by a random stroll through the news feed on Facebook.  I suppose that on any given look at said feed there would be a mix of the celebratory and the struggling.  It seems like lately though, the past few days and weeks and months have been strikingly difficult for many of my friends and family.  Some may just be stressed or depressed; too many others are experiencing some truly gut-wrenching life passages: losing beloved pets, watching their parents decline from age and/or illness, dealing with the unimaginable loss of a child.  All have to deal and grieve in their own way in order to strive for some sense in the madness of it all and work towards healing.  I wish I had the power to ease all of their pain, but the best we can do is love them and support them in whatever way we can.

Sometimes the shoulders just seem like they might buckle from the weight of it all, don't they?  Watching my Dad in his final year and my family's struggle with mental illnesses, age-related and otherwise, there were more moments of utter despair than I care to remember.  So many days of never-ending sadness would pass by that I thought I might never come through.  I did get through, forever changed, but I got through.  So we grasp at whatever we can to keep our heads above water so we don't sink into the abyss.  Not everyone avoids the abyss and I have found myself clawing my way out of it more than once over the years.  As I watch and feel the pain of so many friends and loved ones, I fervently hope they can find their way to healing by whatever means necessary.  After more than a few painful chapters of my life, I stumbled on to my method by literally grasping for moments; moments of bliss or laughter or silliness or stillness that carry me through.

A photograph.  And old blog post.  A song.  A crystalline memory. I remember the moment I was sitting in my favorite easy chair just like this...classical music was softly playing while I typed away...the smell of a familiar salmon dish with lemon and dill that Keith was cooking was wafting from the kitchen...I looked up and saw Keith watching me while I was lost in thought and he was grinning with pride because I was actually writing and I didn't write often then.  It was a perfect moment of wordless joy.  I held that memory very close during the time I helped care for my parents during their decline.

A few weeks ago, I was driving to work pre-dawn and was not in a good state of mind.  I stopped to get coffee and as I was circling through the drive-thru, I said a little prayer for help to see me through my dour mood.  As I circled to the other side and back on the road, the sun had peeked gloriously over the horizon in truly breathtaking fashion; a masterful palette of gorgeous color unlike any I had ever seen.  At the same time, a song played on the radio I had never heard: Amos Lee's Windows Are Rolled Down.  The song's lyrics have been debated...some say that windows being rolled down refers to facing one's mortality, some say its finding new hope, others interpret it as making peace with ones past.  Whatever the true meaning, I derived great comfort from the song.  Suddenly, I was transported to more carefree days of cruising down the highway with hometown friends with music cranked and indeed, windows rolled down.
The fog in my brain was lifting, my shoulders felt lighter.  Amazing how these little Valentines from the Divine arrive just when you need them the most.  So now I search for sunrise, metaphorically and otherwise.
Today, I sought the photos on this post...random photos of the family kids, cooking, playing, finding their own joy.  These made me feel better; these photos were my sunrise today.  Some days the sunrise is easier to find than others.  Sometimes it arrives when you least expect it.  Just don't stop looking for it.  

The video below is Amos Lee's Windows Are Rolled Down.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words.... You read my mind. So needed this.

Anonymous said...

Great post. You lifted my spirits today.

Anonymous said...

You have NO idea how much I needed to read this today! You've held me up many times over the years and I am so grateful for that! I hope that some of your happy thoughts included saving a horse, cooking deer meat "on-the-go", Hands Across America, porch parties and toga parties, camping trips, Bahama trips, and just simply being one-with-nature..... just to name a few! Hugs to you my friend! :-)

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