It’s Earth Day, April 22. Happy Earth Day to everyone. (I’m a bit behind on Discover Prompts, so here goes to catching up. Day 12 – Light)
It’s easy to get lost in the fog of uncertainty and routine. Especially now. Day after day drifts into one another like linked train cars following, being pulled along with no chance to say “no,” no chance to put on brakes, to put up a fuss, to stomp in heels and stop forward motion. Time is relentless that way. Tick tick tick tick tick tick……ever onward.
So when the slightest change to the day occurs, I try to be present for the moment, to see something new in the sameness.
I’ve never been an early riser, though I’ve suffered from insomnia for the past 2 years. The move from west to east, I think, has thrown my internal clock into alarm. Or somewhere deep inside I could be aware of a more cosmic clock ticking louder, the hands moving relentlessly forward. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick….. with so much left undone.
One morning, I got up just after 5:00, set coffee to brew, and sat at my desk with two open windows in front of me, shades pulled up. I live on the 6th floor of a downtown apartment building in New Haven. My apartment building is shaped like a block letter U, with windows facing 300 degrees NW. The apartments on the other side of the hall face the street. My windows face the interior of the building so I see the other arm or leg of the U across the way, reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
Weather travels north to south in this area, so clouds skitter above the buildings diagonally, from upper right to lower left in line of sight.
This is all to say that I have no direct view of the sun coming up, nor the sun going down at night. If it’s clear, I get a brief burst of sunlight in the afternoon coming through the windows.
On this particular morning, sitting with my coffee, steam rising from the cup like in a television commercial, desk neatly arranged, I sat and watched the clouds slowly moving. The bottoms were gray, light gray, not heavy with rain, and the middles were white. The tops of the clouds were just slightly pinkish, like fresh cotton candy. And I realized what I was seeing was the light of sunrise.
Every day I’m reminded that I can see what’s not there if I just look. I see love in her eyes. I see adoration in the way my puppy curls and sleeps against me. I can see the day’s promise, naturally stoic and neutral, fraught with the dangers of disease as well as the sun’s life-giving warmth, in the simple changing light against the side of the brick building in front of me, sometimes glaring and bright and other times more suffused, the sun blocked by clouds behind me, out of sight.
I can see what’s not there, if I just look.