While more northern than my home state of Florida, Atlanta is still a southern sort of city where snow flurries cause full-scale panic and the shutting down of local and state government. This winter has been a mild one temperature-wise and yet its been the most brutal one I can remember with day after day, week after week, months, of unending drizzly colorless skies. I don’t fit the description for SADD but maybe its just a general truth for most people that dark unending grayness has a way of rubbing into one’s heart in an icky sort of way.
And while I tried to keep a positive outlook as I shivered scuttling to and from doctor’s visits under the blank-canvas sky, as a native of The Sunshine State, this Atlanta posing as Portland was enough to make me feel ten-ton heavy with weariness as the sun fell into a hypothetical object instead of a tangible thing one could behold with ones own eyes and made skits such as this Portlandia one, not just laugh out loud funny, but something you found yourself nodding along with feeling positively jealous for their snatches of sunlight no matter how ridiculous or brief.
And then, just this past weekend, after so long without any, there was sun. Beautiful, unapologetic, no cloud to speak of, warm, windy, seventy degree, sun.
It’s the sun you rearrange meals for so you can grill instead of bake. It’s the sun that makes you spend your entire day outside, swinging on swings, sliding on slides, and wanting to do cartwheels with your toddler—- and its the the kind of sun that makes you wonder, would I have lived this day as fully and richly as I have today were it not for the miserable brutal gray non-skies of days gone by? Would I have shrugged and flipped a channel were such days commonplace? Or is it because I know such days are not a given, and I know I have no control over when such a day might come again, that I took to the outdoors soaking in the weather like the manna from heaven it was?
The sun is back in hiding today. The blank canvas sky returns, rain pounds against our kitchen skylights and my backyard trees shudder against the wind. As I looked upon another gray day, I tried not only to tell myself that such dark dreary days are there for the light to feel that much sweeter, but I attempted to find the beauty in days as dark as these. Like how on a day like this, chai warms one especially well. How each sip dispels the physical chill in your bones and also feels as though its mending your soul in the same breath it props your eyes open to take in the fog outside your kitchen window.
And how it gives you the energy to snap the babe into a carrier, and plunk the toddler on the countertop to mix and measure and bake. To coat cinnamon buns with homemade cinnamon butter and fresh cream cheese frosting. On gray cold days like today, the oven feels extra warm as it heats up a drafty kitchen, and the laughter from the stickiness of the sweets, makes the house and my heart feel lighter despite the darkness outside.
And while to be fully honest, finding the beauty on miserable cloudy days like today are not as easy as they are on bright beautiful sunny days when it seems that bunnies will literally break into a Disney animation film before your eyes, its those darker days that if you can manage to overcome, you can look upon with a true sense of pride of accomplishment, that you saw beauty where on first glance there was little of, and that if you can overcome a silly thing like blank-canvas weather, maybe just maybe you can also begin to tackle and someday overcome the deepest and darkest corners of your own heart.