When I was young, a teenager into my early thirties, I sought full on sunshine every day.
I wanted perfection in the weather – sunny and 75 degrees is my perfection.
In fall, I wanted picture-perfect foliage on 100’s-of-years-old trees crowned with leaves. Full, abundant.
In winter, I wanted a fresh snowfall, fluffy and white and getting out into it when it had just fallen – when there wasn’t a tire track or footprint.
Black and white is how I think of it.
When I was younger, I was more black + white. I’ve written before that aging is all my black + whites turning gray….which is a good thing.
Now, I feel just the opposite about weather than when I was young.
The turning point came for me on my summer weeks at camp, Away at a Camp in Maine. I began to appreciate all the types of weather that occur on a lake over the course of a week – heat and cloudless blue skies that go on forever, sun showers, rainbows, windswept waves on the lake, torrential rain and thunder storms.
Spending a week of vacation, I began to tire of simply laying on the dock for eight full hours sunning. I wanted an excuse not to sun.
Finally, at this age, I don’t feel I have to get sun every time the sun is shining. Sometimes, now, I actually choose to sit in the shade. And it’s marvelous!
When we travel now, we never care about the weather. We find beauty hiking in the White Mountains in the gray and fog even more so than when it’s sunny. We’re not dictated by the weather.
Now weather surrounds us, nudges our moods in different ways, and I’ve discovered all ways are valuable. And necessary in experiencing a full life.
It’s like not knowing what joy is if you never know pain.
You appreciate sunshine and warmth more, when you also live with rain. And live means getting out into it and relishing what it gives me, in a different way than sun.
Although I talk about “weather,” it’s a metaphor that goes further than that.
Once you can be comfortable, and even joyful, in the dark and the gloomy climates, you can more likely be joyful in the emotional darkness that creeps into everyone’s life from time to time.
You are more accepting. More likely to go with the flow.
Make lemonade….out of lemons.
Or have all your black + whites begin to turn gray.
And now…I’m off to put on my puddle boots and tiptoe through the raindrops!