We’re slumped upon the kitchen table. One daughter labors over math homework while the other colors slowly on paper. I’m answering an email, sighing. The day feels sluggish and old, dark and spent.
Then, light invades through the kitchen window.
An hallelujah chorus of dappled light dances all around us. For days–months–we’ve been in the dark shadow of winter. The sky looks more like a sidewalk.
But not now. Not for this one glorious moment when light breaks through. The forest sparkles with it. The sky has never seemed so blue, so wide, so clear.
We bask in it.
To bask means to derive great pleasure from something. As I open wide the door and feel the sun on my face, I realize what makes this moment so pleasurable.
It’s because it’s been so very dark, so very gray.
I’m thankful for contrast in my life. I realize that’s the only way I learn to bask. The hot showers I love because I’ve known the freezing ones; the deep breath of air I relish because I battled congestion for a month; the authentic community I cherish in my neighborhood because I’ve walked the road of loneliness; the joy rising up in my heart, so precious, because I once knew the despairing days of depression.
The beauty of contrast: what we bask in because we’ve seen its absence. A blessing, a mystery.
Journal: Can we only know joy by contrast?