Not too many years ago I attended a Nutcracker Ballet with my son and his Kindergarten class. The kids all eagerly entered the hall with the parents lingering behind. We waited for a good 20 minutes for the show to start, so my time was spent quieting squabbles and keeping children’s feet off the chairs in front of them. As the lights dimmed to signal the beginning of the show, the audience quickly silenced. The darkness washed over the room and an uncomfortable quiet followed. There must have been some sort of snafu, as the curtain didn’t open, and the spotlight didn’t go on.
We sat in complete, pitch-black darkness for a good five minutes. When a tiny light lit up in the back corner of the auditorium the children began to turn immediately. Before I knew it, every child was looking towards the light. The adults on the other hand remained looking forward. Towards the darkness. As each second ticked by I became more uncomfortable. The darkness was enveloping and my chest became tight. It wasn’t until almost the entire 5 minutes had passed before I couldn’t take it anymore…I turned to look at the light myself. I immediately felt at ease when I did. Slowly, the rest of the adults followed.
It was seconds after we gave in that the show began and the darkness was forgotten.
Except, I never really forgot.
I always have wondered why us adults stubbornly looked towards the darkness, and the children immediately looked towards the light. It was something innate within them for sure.
I thought about that experience today as I scanned the skyline as I drove. We’ve been socked in with fog and cloud cover the past couple days, which has totally thrown a wrench in my sky watching activities. I live for bright white, fluffy clouds. We have had bright blue skys all week long, with nary a cloud in the sky and I complained at each and every blank canvas. But as I sat looking at the grey nothingness above me, I realized I missed the blue. I searched for a break in the clouds. One tiny burst of light to focus on…but there was nothing.
Why is it now, I long for the light?
I feel like those children. I am not content at staring into the grey darkness. I NEED the light. I long for a break in the clouds. It needn't be an entire skyline of brightness. One small ray breaking through the looming cloud-cover would suffice.
I’m often asked, “What is up with your sky obsession. What’s behind it?” I tell them I feel at peace when I’m looking up, but it is more organic than that. It’s like my soul is reaching for the light…inhaling the miracle that is the sky. I’m certain there is meaning in all of it. I’m intent in figuring it out.
Why was I so content to not look up before? Why did I let the cloudy days pass by without a thought? What made me jaded to the heavenly landscapes that lay right above my head?
Obviously my perspective has shifted. The daily grind isn’t delivering the purpose I need. Looking up helps me embrace the purpose of my spirit. I’m part of something big. This road I’m traveling has meaning.
I started a new tumblr blog where I have endeavored to post a pic of the sky, my sky, every day this year. (It's called, "Meri's looking up" and you can find it here.) I search for quotes to go with each picture and one quote has stuck with me the past few days. “How strange this fear of death is. We are never frightened at a sunset." ~George MacDonald
I have a lot of preconceived notions about life. I think I’ve got a lot wrong. Even though I’m convinced that we have been placed on this Earth to love, and serve each other, I feel like I lose sight of that too easily. I get caught up on problems and issues that in the grand scheme of things are completely meaningless. Why do I let these little things weigh on me so?
If I looked at my problems from an eternal perspective, and if I strived to do that every day…every hour…how would my life change?
Why do I let the fog win? Today as I stared into the grey abyss I focused on the fact that right behind that grey, was blue.
Bright, bright blue.
A little wind can take care of that grey. The blue is not gone. In fact, for a few minutes today the cloud cover parted and gave me this:
It wasn’t there for long, but I’m thankful for the few minutes of reassurance it afforded me.
The light is always there…I just need to give it time to peek through.
And I need to look for it always. Look towards it. Because by it, this whole life thing makes perfect sense. By it I can see that this Earth isn’t just complete chaos. There is order to all things. Seasons. Weather. Change.
But despite the change…the light will guide me. Despite the storms, the sun will return and the landscape of my life will turn bright green again. I’m hoping by looking up, my spirit will be guided and my feet will follow.
And if I’m right, that fork in the road ahead of me won’t look so terrifying once I get closer to it.
A girl’s gotta hope anyway.
I believe that looking up is a physical manifestation of my hoping. And I’ll keep doing it, until I crack the code…or at least until I find the sustaining peace I long for. That peace is there. I just need to put in a little effort, and even more than that...practice a little patience.