I pride myself on reexamining everything, and not just accepting things because they’re commonly-held wisdom. So when people say that dark days make them sad, and they like sunny days better, I disagree. I love rain. It’s moody and contemplative, and it feels so good pounding against a window.
My first hint that maybe there’s something to this “dark days = sad” was in Anchorage. The sun rose there at 9:15 a.m., so that it was still pitch black well past eight o’clock in the morning. It went back down at 4:00 p.m. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Due to its oblique angle, the sun never rose much past the horizon, hugging the gray downtown buildings and giving everything a sort of twilightish pall. But who cares, I tried to tell myself. We live mostly indoors anyway, a fact I’m used to from the East Coast winters.
This week, it rained in my part of the world every day. And I loved it, except for the leaves it made soggy and ever-present and impossible to rake on my front lawn. It was gray and overcast and atmospheric, the sound of rain on my window making it delicious to burrow into my plush bed and sleep like a log. It reminded me of the opening scene of A Wrinkle in Time, one of the favorite books of my childhood, set in a creaky old attic during a storm. Sure, it made me a little weepy earlier in the week, but then I settled in, blamed in on hormones, and enjoyed the show.
Which is why I was a little surprised at the unbridled joy I felt this morning at being greeted by sun. I dropped off my kids at school, went to my usual café to read, like I do every morning as a break before coming back home to work. Then, when I was done, I opened the door, stepped on the sidewalk and was taken aback by a glorious glow, a bright blue sky so dense it felt like I could cut a slice of it and eat it like some kind of heaven pie, not a cloud in sight. It was so stunning I just stood there for a moment, mesmerized, letting the brightness wash over me in waves of happiness. Once I realized what I was doing, I was astounded at the sheer creatureliness of me, planted there worshipping the sun, a gecko on a rock, a bird on a branch off a cliff. But it was born of somewhere deep, this sheer joy at light, and I let it be. It was magnificent, like angels singing.
So… will I keep thinking that I’m apart from other humans, and that their clichéd concerns are not my own? Probably. But will I nod knowingly the next time someone talks about being happy to see the sun? Uh huh.