Saturday, January 23, 2010

Forecast: sunshine (oh please, oh please)

We turn a corner and there we are, confronting some lint-sprinkled pocket of ourselves. It could be the shady curve in the road that disguises the patch of black ice, the unexpected diagnosis that runs counter to every speck of intuition or the quantum shift in which we find out that we don't love rainy, cloudy days the way we once did.

For most of my life, rain has made me peaceful, even driving in it I could find a state close to bliss. With a winter birthday, I've always taken it as a blessing if it rained that day and there has been something so sweet about shopping for Valentines - or supplies with which to make them - in the midst of stormy weather.

This past week Southern California had an El Nino episode. It was wet by standards of recent low-rainfall years, yet not the fearful deluge we have seen in seasons past, in spite of concerns, freakish winds and water in places where it didn't belong. What it mostly brought was clouds, dark, chilling (again, by California measures) and, here comes the discovery, completely erasing the sun. Clouds have been friends to me, protective and covering, shrinking the vast beyond to something not quite so infinite. A ceiling, the blanket tent in the living room when we had to play inside.

Instead of the expected comfort, not to mention the natural relief of anything that might keep drought out of the equation, I became dormant. Had I been a bear or other hibernating creature, it would have been straight to the cave. All the oomph and focus and vitality I'd recently experienced vanished with the sun. I just shut down. This had never happened before. I would have been the one doing the rain dance, hiring Starbuck to come and seed the clouds, not minding being drenched and shivering, wanting it to last and last.

Today the sun returned, it shone in my bedroom and sat in bright patches on my bed, warming the shivers even though it was 43 degrees at 8:30 a.m. For Los Angeles, that's a tad cool. It may be that something astrological has transited, that the sun now exerts a greater influence on me than it did for those other 6+ decades. I'm as good as certain that the horrid days of late summer will be no more welcome than before. But they WILL bring the sun, who feels like my new best friend. My hope is that more will be revealed. Is this a lasting state? Will I have to learn adaptive measures to keep myself motivated when my solar panels cease to function?

Where this has left me is, once again, counting my blessings...that I DO live in California, that we do have more days that are sunny than not and that before my battery flat-lined, the sun showed up to save the day. Words like wuss and sissy speak themselves in my head and I have no defense against them. This is a sad state...having to go for 5 or 6 days without sunshine and coming unstuck. I may claim possession or the influence of dark forces. I just know that, with clear skies and warming light, I, too, was back. With much to learn.

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