This has been a miserable month in the Northeast. It’s rained for the past 10 days and there is little relief in sight. As I gaze out the windows of my house I see a dark sky with unending haze and mist among the trees. I live in an area where tourism is high and the summer months hold much value to those who make their living from the tourist trade. This year the weather has hampered their sales and has placed an economic burden that is out of their control. It is a dismal scene if you want to see it that way.
“Weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society -- things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed.”
E. B. White (1899 - 1985)
This past winter was a time of cold and record breaking snows. I remember the many days of snow and wind and how everyday I wished for summer to come along. It was a dreary winter full of troubled times when it seemed like the cold would never end. People became irritable and everyone attended to their needs while the world went on as if no one could control their destiny. At least it seemed that way.
“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe.”
Robert Service (1874 - 1958)
Summer is now coming to a close and it is the fall that we look toward. What will it be like? Will it be cloudy and cold or warm and beautiful like many years before? We spend our time peering into the future or dwelling on the past and focus on things that we have no control over and cannot change. We waste so much energy counting the rain drops while forgetting about the real needs of our lives.
“Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.”
Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)
Instead of counting rain drops and seeing dark clouds we could focus our attention on the blue sky that lies beyond our sight. We can know that storm clouds move and that in time the sun will shine. We can know that each new day brings forth a new chance to create our dream world and that by focusing on its beauty we can change our future forever.
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
It is in the knowing that there is blue sky above the clouds and that troubled skies will give forth to bright sunshine that allows me to see past this present season. It is in knowing that my world is my creation and that I am the master of my journey that allows me to walk amid the rain with a smile and feel the wet drops on my face as the miracle they are. It is my interpretation of their presence that paves the way for my future vision of my world.
“Troubles are usually brooms and shovels that smooth the road to the good man's fortune; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.”
See past the rain and know that good awaits you beyond your present sight. Know that once the rain passes there will be a quiet and peaceful moment when all is well in your world. You see, the storm is only temporary. What lasts is the wonder you see as the clouds part and the sun begins to shine.
“Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us. At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure. We see ourselves as overdriven, overburdened, overtired. This is a common mental picture and it is totally false. No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence. What is the true picture of your life? Imagine that there is an hour glass on your desk. Connecting the bowl at the top with the bowl at the bottom is a tube so thin that only one grain of sand can pass through it at a time. That is the true picture of your life, even on a super busy day, The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time. That is the only way they can come. The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file. You want to gain emotional poise? Remember the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one.”
James Gordon Gilkey