This evening we saw the sun for the first time in days. Here in central South Carolina we have had the remnants of hurricane – then tropical storm – Ida, lingering over the state. It has only rained for three days straight, but it felt much longer. Indoor recess is kind of fun for a day, a novelty for the second day, but by the third day in a row it is a little depressing. I’ve never been a big believer in the whole “they need to get their energy out” thing, although of course I believe in exercise. I crave recess myself.
And it was so dark for these last three days. When we turned out the lights for story it was like nighttime. Since daylight savings time, it’s hard to get enough face time with the sun as it is. Most days, I get to work while it is still dark, and leave when it is nearly dark. On some days recess is all I’ve got. When Heidi and I take our evening walk it is with the flashlight.
So this evening, about ten minutes before the sunset, there was a break above in the west. A pale blue streak spread across the sky and the sun descended into it, just above the horizon. Sunlight spread across the low purple clouds in a wheel of incredible Godlight. Heidi and I happened to be outside just as the sun appeared. We faced the sun and closed our eyes. It felt fine to have the sun's warming rays competing with the chilly breeze. It was in sight for just a few minutes before slipping, crimson, below the earth’s rim. Ahhh, bit it'll be back.
It’s funny how a small thing, such as a glimpse of the sun can be so uplifting, so heartening. Of course it put me in mind of an old song by Joni Mitchell, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” Know what I mean? I find myself regularly taking for granted the things I hold dearest. Friendships, family, this incredible job, playing music with my church friends. When I knew my dad was dying, all those years ago, I finally told him I loved him. And when he died, I missed him so bad. When my buds Pete and Alan moved away, I realized that there would be other friends but life just wouldn’t be the same. Now that my babies have grown to young men, I miss those little guys. You think it’s going to last forever, you know?
Anyway, that sun, that little glimpse of beauty, which I see on most days – and take for granted – reminded me to appreciate the here and now, to keep what is precious in my heart. I guess, “These are the good old days.”