Winter has been dark in the Pacific Northwest. One begins to get the feeling that the sun has forgotten to rise in the morning or the morning before this one. There are days when I’ve used my headlights the entire day as I’ve driven around the city running errands. I’ve begun to lose my sense of time, as I cannot find the sun in the sky behind the thick rain and cloud cover. And since the sun rises at 8 a.m. and sets during the 4 o’clock hour (really, look it up), the days begin to meld into one another, becoming one long night. Darkness can affect our mood, our disposition, our ability to find firm footing.
Sometimes the waters that surround Seattle shift and move the clouds, until they separate to reveal a sliver of blue sky, and then the sunshine will slice through, blinding. An entire city moves toward their windows. Plants lean toward the light. Storekeepers put on sunglasses and step out to the sidewalk. Mothers hold their babies to nursery windows to bask in the glow of the sun. Cats find where the path of light falls best, yawn, and stretch to nap in its rays.
And me? I raise my face towards the radiance. My eyes aren’t used to the intensity. I close them and consider the blend of reds, oranges, and golds through my eyelids. I feel the heat of its brilliance against my cheeks.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us (Psalm 67:1).
I needed this light. I’m lost without it.
I can’t help but ponder all the metaphors for God as light. How much I need him to guide my way. How God’s presence helps me grow in faith and as the person he created me to be. How I can see more clearly when I trust in him.
The lyrics to one of my favorite hymns, “Be Thou My Vision,” come to mind, and I can’t help but sing:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Then, the sun shower ends as abruptly as it began. The clouds close. The sun is again hidden. It is dark again.
And yet, my mood is not. I still feel the warmth of the light on my skin, and I know which step to take next.
Image by Lisa Runnels from Pixabay.
One of the best refections I have read lately. Thank you for sharing your every-day concerns with us…many of us feel the same as you and continue to find comfort in God , Our Savior.
Wow, Shemaiah really brought the reality of winter in the the Pacific Northwest to life. I’m so glad you got to see the sun for that brief moment. Spring is on its way! Drive up to Mt. Vernon to see the tulip fields — it’s one of my favorite things to do when I visit from Texas.
Skillful writing. Very fine piece. Thanks Shemaiah.
So true. I remember a year in LA where we had over a week of rain straight and I had to fly somewhere and when the plane flew above the cloud layer and we could see the sun you could hear just about everyone smile (and a few people clapped and said ‘it’s still there’). It’s like being in a dark place in faith and there’s that God wink or experience and you remember He’s always there.
Your post suggests that much of life is dulled by cloudy skies but alas we experience a period of light. We can’t even remember the darkness. Thank you for sharing this metaphor of hope. You don’t elaborate on how dark the overcast skies are or whether or not the light is an explosion or just a wonderful, sunny day. What you suggest is that both exist and maybe both are necessary. I treat my times of darkness with fait that there is a purpose to it even though I know the sunshine is so much better. I wait by the seashore not knowing how close I am to dawn but I know for certain that its coming and the illumination will lift my spirit and help me love the coming of a brand new day. Thanks again.