And There Was Light!

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?

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  1. I think we can know, or feel, joy just through experiencing something wonderful. I feel joyful, for example, when I am outside on a warm spring day just because there is so much to like about it. I don't usually think about the winter with its cold and snow; I'm focused on the blue sky and breathing in the wonderful air. I'm feeling the perfect warmth on my bare arms and seeing the green of new life everywhere.

    But, I feel more THANKFUL – and also more joyful – for that beautiful day because I have endured the winter days. My basic joy is magnified when I remember the contrast. And the worse the contrasting condition was, the more likely I am to remember it and make the comparison.

    Only a simple example here; real life is full of much more serious ones, as you described so well.

    Beautiful pictures. Gorgeous pictures! And thank you for making me think 🙂