The past week, we’ve been having intermittent “beautiful weather.” As it is February in western Washington, rainy or at least cloudy days would seem to be the norm, but there are random times when the sun shines through and gives us a beautiful Kirkland sunset, like this one.
Between interacting with coworkers, customers, friends, and housemates, I’ve gotten the impression that “beautiful weather” is synonymous with sunshine; warm, still air; and blue skies. You might be thinking, “Well, of course it is! That’s beautiful!” I know it is. It feels so nice to have the sun on one’s back and have all the fauna out to play and the flora brightly illuminated by the day. I’ve never complained about a sunny day, unless of course, it’s 110 degrees outside and I have to walk to the bus stop in work clothes.
But today, I drank in the stillness of a cloudy morning, and found it just as beautiful. Luckily, it hadn’t rained in enough hours that our front step was dry, so I sat on it in my pajamas and a pink hoodie, eating the last clementine, and just listened. At 9:30, I saw a morning that I rarely willingly saw. In the small bubble encompassing my house and yard, it was quiet. Only the grass breathed, glistening still with dew. The clover at the edge of the yard was so richly green that it seemed to revel in the thought of coming spring, or in thankfulness for living in a place where spring never truly ends. Past the yard erupted songs of at least four different kinds of birds, in dozens of little voices. I could have done without the neighbors’ dogs barking in conversation with each other, or maybe the birds, but they reminded me how alive the morning was in still moments like this. Under the soft soil of the lawn, I’m sure there were vast civilizations of earthworms and ants, aphids and spiders, living in a harmony, even if that harmony means someone will be eaten soon. It is vast and we don’t know it. We rush out of our doors when we have to and stay inside when we don’t, spending entire days on the couch just because it’s cloudy outside.
I realized yesterday, while wandering downtown Kirkland, that people around here must have realized this long before I did. That a cloudy day doesn’t stop a true local from going out and enjoying the day. On Monday, it was very warm and sunny with clear skies, and I was looking for a place to blog. The first three coffee shops I visited had no seating at all for someone with a small tablet to type on. The lines were long; the sidewalks were crowded. The waterfront was packed with families with dogs, couples having picnics, small children running into the water and back out when they realized how cold it still was. I expected yesterday to not be as crowded, as the nice weather had stepped back for a day, but I was surprised. The sidewalks were emptier, yes, but the coffee shop where I met my friend had no seating at all! And it’s a big coffee shop! So we got our coffees and walked down to the waterfront to sit on the steps that led down to the bay. The whole time we were there, there was also a man in an electric wheelchair with a young black lab. Other than them, the area was nearly deserted. The man stayed on the sidewalk or the docks, zooming around, becoming a silhouette as the sun sank into the water and burned the sky gold. The dog was having the time of his life, jumping off of docks into the water, swimming over to shore, splashing around to his heart’s content. And I realized when I got home that if a man in a wheelchair can transport himself and a dog to the waterfront to go have a good time on a cloudy day, then I can certainly pull myself out of bed before noon and appreciate whatever world God has given me on any given day. If I’ve learned one thing from riding buses, it’s that getting around in a wheelchair must take a ton of patience. Have you ever seen anyone get on or off a bus in a wheelchair? All I can say is I should be more thankful for my able body and work harder to accept and rejoice in the day I’m given, and not use the weather as an excuse to be lazy and sorry for myself. Any day I go into with a positive attitude can be my own beautiful day.
“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)