A Gift of Light

The feeling of overwhelm hit the same time I slid a tired finger across the snooze button of my alarm. The project my middle-schooler didn’t finish last night (because a. he waited till the last minute; & b. the batteries died on the camera he was using to video) needed to be not only filmed again but also downloaded and transferred onto a thumb drive…all within the next few minutes…along with breakfast, scriptures, prayer, and dressing all my little people to get out the door around the same time.

With the mission accomplished, I opened the door again to a quiet house and attempted to attack the sink filled with breakfast bowls and spoons (that hasn’t stayed consistently empty for at least the past week) when a feeling came over me to go for a run. I dismissed it as I shoveled silverware from one side of the sink to the other, rinsing the Rubbermaid container that held who knows what, and the feeling came again.

Go for a run now.

(I’ve learned not to discount feelings like that.)

I dropped the half-rinsed silverware into the sink and headed to my room to change into clothing appropriate for exercise. I prepped my iPod and ear buds, stretched, and I was on my way.

(Now, I haven’t been running regularly for quite a while. That’s probably an understated understatement….)

I warmed up walking, greeting a neighbor with her beautiful Golden Retriever, and headed to the path around the lake. I set my phone to track my distance and pace, and turned to the left (to avoid getting wet by the morning sprinklers). I rounded several corners as I made my way around the path that followed the not-so-oval-shaped lake. I felt all the feelings of relief, of time to think, of jamming to music that I haven’t heard in several weeks, and, seemingly suddenly, the path took me around to face east.

Guess what I saw?

One of the most beautiful sun-rising moments of my life. The sun was about half-way up its eastern path through the sky, and just a few clouds danced around the glowing sphere–enough to filter through multiple rays streaming down and kissing the surface of the lake.

(I didn’t take a picture, but this photo might give you a little bit of an idea of what I saw.)

photo credit

It looked like a piece of heaven.

I felt like I was in heaven, in that moment.

And, I knew that I wouldn’t have seen that exact scene in the sky if I had waited to load the dishes, if I had let my own agenda take over my life, if I had been to busy or too discouraged to look up toward the light.

But I did go run.

And I did look up, and I was given a gift.

A gift of light.

The Sun Always Shines

The other day, I was visiting a friend’s home. She gave me a spectacular haircut (which feels lighter and lovlier than I have felt in ages)…and afterwards, we chatted outside amidst clouds and sunshine, with an occasional clap of thunder pounding its way through the heavens like my living room sounds during a Wii bowling marathon.

I wondered to myself about the possibility of a storm, what said storm might mean for the rest of my day (I had some plans to go swimming), and how said storm might affect my afternoon–with kiddos coming home from various places via foot or bus or whatever else.

Then, I came home, popped leftover curry and rice into the microwave (thankfully we still had some naan left, too), and enjoyed a quiet late lunch. After savoring the fruits of last night’s cooking experience, I walked to the sink to rinse my (almost-wiped-clean-anyway) plate, and the sun was almost blinding through the window.

As I felt the warmth and heat and light cover my skin with a powerful stillness, I knew that everything was going to be okay…kiddos, afternoon plans, homework and happy moments.

I thought of the desperate times–times of darkness or despair in my life. I remember those moments which brought about needed changes or powerful character-building experiences. I thought about living in places of snow, where storms and clouds would roll in for so long we thought they had overtaken the sun forever. And, I recalled feelings of being alone in the universe or sad beyond the reach of comfort or troubled without direction. Each time I lived through those moments or days or months or years, if I could make myself hang on to hope, have faith that triumph would overtake the sadness, and wait patiently for the light to pierce the clouds, I have been able to work through the despair. I have emerged a stronger person. Each time hasn’t been easy–in fact, I felt stretched to my inner core on each occasion–but light has brought me to where I am today.

And that is a pretty awesome place.

🙂


photo credit:  Sarah Knight Photography