Darkness and Light

I walked down the sidewalk, the streetlights still aglow, the daylight not bright enough to trigger their daytime retirement.  I noticed a band of eerie blue-green color across the sidewalk and realized I had seen that there before.  The shadow of the pole, which I felt should have just been a darker shade of gray, was given color by the overhead lights.  It had been a long time since I had seen it, then I realized why it had returned.  Winter’s short days are back. 

My feet splashed through the standing water, and I held my hood up over my hair, so as not to smash it.  I was trying to let it grow, but days like this were a trial.  I had an appointment for a trim on Wednesday that was teetering more toward a cut.  Opening the heavy wooden door, I gave the outdoors a last glance, and wondered just how many more days we would have of the dreary rain. 

Last week we had a power outage.  A wet, heavy snow had dumped five inches of white weight on the power lines.  Forty-eight hours of no electricity.  It was so depressing.  I never realized how energized I am by electricity.  The darkness surrounded me, the cold pervaded my winter attire, and I felt my mood sinking lower and lower.  It was a rather apocalyptic type feeling.  As wrapped up in my own misery as I was, I still found myself thinking of the people out east who had recently undergone a lengthy power outage.  When I had heard about it on the news, I had thought about the inconvenience, but I didn’t realize the effect it would have on the spirit.  Not until I was experiencing it firsthand. 

Our power came back on Thursday night, but it took me a few days to gather in enough light to lift my spirits.  I’ve never been one to dread winter, but if this is what this upcoming season has in store for us this year, I am a bit worried.  Living without electricity is not an experience that I want to repeat. 

It’s funny, the things we take for granted.  Lights seem like a given, something we are entitled to, not a luxury.  I don’t take them for granted now!  Yes, I will say it, the old cliché, “You don’t know whatcha got till it’s gone!” 

The rain is turning to snow tonight.  I watched the flakes fighting for center stage, as the rain spits back in the fight.  I am hoping the snow wins.  It, at least, reflects what little light the gray winter skies emit.  And then the ground would freeze.  My dog seems not to notice the rain or the mud.  She comes in soaking wet, covered in mud up to her hips, and I must stand and wipe her down and clean the mud from between her toes.  I have to say, though, she is getting used to it and has become much more tolerant of my touching her feet.  Hopefully, this will hold up through her next toenail clipping. 

After work, I came home and felt so lacking in energy.  I thought I would lie down, but as I did, I felt antsy.  I got up and removed all of the Christmas presents stashed in the closet.  I sorted through them hoping that the Christmas spirit would lift me up.  Finally, I decided I just needed some exercise.  I got on my treadmill.  With my pink ear buds in my ears, I let the music from my IPod move me into motion, and I sang along at the top of my lungs.  That’s the nice thing about being home alone – no one can make fun of your off key A Capella performance.  And with my headphones on, I sound just like Beyonce.  Well, maybe I feel like her, but if my son were home, I am sure he would tell me to leave the singing to Beyonce. 

My energy level and my spirits seem to have gotten a jumpstart tonight.  Each season brings about a need for a shift of perspective.  Summer and its warmth and brightness spoil us.  Fall and winter require us to make our own light.  I think I am ready now.  Treadmill, IPod and laptop.  Pump it up.  Sing it loud.  And write it down! 




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