sometimes i forget how much i miss the sun.
how much its rays impact my life and my well-being.
and after these grey days – this dreary january,
i am so grateful for february’s snowy reflection of light.
but the thing is – the sun was always there, even when i couldn’t see it.
even when i couldn’t feel its warmth or the vitamin d seeping into my withering spirit…
it was always there. always is.
and, let’s be honest, january was a hard month. it always is.
but this year, instead of blizzards – we got a tornado of change.
this has been a month full of transitions and trepidations.
a month full of fear and questions, with a few rays of hope mixed in.
and sometimes it gets really hard to still believe that – behind this cloud
of what we see, feel, and experience – the Sun is still there.
we are still held in the embrace of gravity,
the pull of the moon,
and the Sun’s life-force.
when the sun is out though, i take it for granted.
shield my eyes with sunglasses, lower my head from its glare.
but, not today.
not these days.
these days are teaching us not to take any of this for granted.
this comfort, this relative peace, this privileged position.
and, just like sunny days, i take my privilege for granted.
i enjoy its comfort but forget that, unlike the sun,
these privileges are not universal.
they do not shine on each of us.
in the ‘on being’ podcast on mindfulness,
ellen langer defines mindfulness not as a meditative practice,
but the sheer act of noticing something new.
the opposite of the mindlessness that so often fills our days.
today, as i waited for the GO bus, standing on Weber St. in the crisp sunlight,
i paused to notice – possibly for the first time – all of the cars stopped at the red light.
i paid attention to the drivers. tried to really see them, albeit briefly.
and i was reminded again of the beauty of diversity.
i tried to imagine how each of them were feeling today.
of course, i have no idea.
but, for some, i was aware that the world may have just become an even more threatening place.
for that taxi driver, who has increased reason to believe their next fare may look at them with hatred.
or the car with Spanish music blaring, realizing his relatives may not travel to visit with ease.
or the teenage daughter sitting quietly in the front seat of the minivan, unaware that her world might be gentler than most.
it was just a brief moment of awareness.
it was not even awareness of what was – but just what could be,
the possibility of realities greater than my own.
and then i boarded the bus,
and sat in the sun for the slow journey to Toronto.
where i walked past more strangers on the sidewalk.
some of them holding signs outside the Islamic centre,
carrying messages of love in English and Hebrew,
pausing for a public moment of silence before the midday prayers.
today, as i walk down Bloor Street, the sun feels like a treasure.
a sign of hope in tumultuous times.
like these simple signs of hope scrawled on white paper.
reminders that the clouds are not the full picture of reality.
that there is more behind the scenes.
i do not want to take this sun,
or my extensive privilege,
nor do i want to take these dark and cloudy days as our inevitable fate.
and so, as we bask in these brief moments of sun,
these brief examples of hope,
we keep working together to stay mindful.
to stay grateful.
to stay awake and aware.
we keep looking for the Sun.
and we keep holding signs,
being the signs
that point towards
Hope, even when the
Light seems to
knowing that it is just behind the clouds,