Thursday, January 23, 2014

1/24/14—Reflecting the Sun's Light

Today's fabulous sunset. And this was just the beginning.
I'm getting a lot of inspiration from sunsets these days. I didn't really plan on making it an almost daily hobby to sit on my front stoop and watch the sunset. But that's what it has become. And taking that extra time (I already sit outside most mornings and before bed) has made a huge difference in my wellbeing lately. Today it was about 20 degrees out with a moderate, persistent wind. There I was, in a tank top and a blanket, sitting bare-footed on my concrete stoop for an hour (fingers FREEZING as I tried to take pics). :D

Most of the time my boy, Kizzie, joins me. He's got executive privilege in the house. He's the oldest, so he gets the biggest treats AND he gets to sit outside on the stoop with mommy. The other two dogs would try to attack every leaf that blew by, so he's really my only option. Besides, the poor boy is the only male in a house full of girls and he is often shoved aside by much younger rivals for mommy's attention. So I do what I can to give him extra snuggles and consideration.

Anyway, he wasn't out there today because, on my
way to the door, a spinning, gyrating, leaping Manic Mystic managed to break one of my crystal ringing bowls. These are very expensive things. I was disappointed and, while not angry per se (it's my fault the bowls are where they are...the dogs bump into them all the time) I lost my taste for dogs for the moment. It wasn't fair that Kizzie had to pay for Mystic's mania. He was upset to miss "our time." So I feel bad now. But in the moment I wasn't in the mood for dogs.

Yesterday's lovely, but lackluster, sunset.
Which brings me around to what I noticed in the sunset today. See, yesterday the skies were crystal clear. And while I watched the first part of the sunset, it was really kind of boring. Even when you can see the horizon (which I can't), sunsets, while always lovely, just aren't as interesting unless there are clouds in the sky. I included pics of both yesterday's and today's sunset, taken at roughly the same time, to illustrate my point.

Clouds give the sun an opportunity to show its beauty in the most spectacular ways. They reflect the sun's light...contain it in concentrated bursts instead of having it diffuse out to forever until it is just no longer visible. They make sunrises and sunsets more interesting and remarkable. They show that the sun isn't just some hard-working source of light and heat, it's also something that paints a palette of beauty on every eye it's cast upon. Although I'm a big moon lover myself, I believe the sun puts on a far more spiritual show, aesthetically speaking.

Today was a day when I had to deal with lots of little annoyances. My email wasn't working. Then I got it fixed. Then it stopped working again. So lots of time spent with my ISP on the phone and over chat. Same kind of technical issues with Blue Cross, who fixed their online issues just in time for me to discover they're raising my rates by nearly $100 month.

Today's spectacular sunset at its most cloudy and fabulous. 
Then there was an issue with my bank, because they showed a $0.83 charge from Paypal that I couldn't verify on Paypal, so I opened a dispute and changed all my passwords. Then I found the $0.83 charge and had to call them to close the dispute. I know that sounds petty, but the fact is that when scammers get your personal information, they will do small charges like $0.83 just to test the waters. Then they'll hit you hard. So those small charges are vital clues that could save your arse. If you weren't aware of this, you know it now.

Finally, of course, was the expensive bowl Mystic broke. See, all of these things are "clouds". And while too many clouds will block the sun altogether, we get to choose whether or not the clouds that cast shadows on our day will block the world from seeing our light, or reflect our light in the most spectacular and profound ways.

I like to think I made a good sunset from my day. I was very pleasant with all the customer service people I spoke to (and that's saying a lot because sitting on hold for 45 minutes like I did this morning  usually brings out my inner Kali.) And Mystic didn't get anything more than a talking to...later, when she curled up to me all sorry-like.

The usual front porch scene. Kizzie's fur is a sunset in itself!
The only place I fell short and blocked my light might have been with Kizzie. None of this was his fault and he was so disappointed. He tried desperately to get out the door with me. I feel terrible about it now. But in the moment I think it was best for all involved if I just had some time alone. So I'm going to count that as a win, too. BTW, Kizzie addressed the cloud of not getting to watch the sunset with me quite gracefully. He laid in front of the window and watched me and the sunset from inside the house. Where it was NOT 20 degrees and windy.

While it's nice to have days when everything is perfect and easy, sometimes it's more gratifying at the end of the day to know you made it through an obstacle course alive. Little clouds make days more interesting. But more than that, the way we handle them makes US more interesting. We could live our lives with a blandly content visage perfect day after perfect day. But try being bland or content on a bad's just not done!

Various clouds—wispy ones, small ones, stormy ones—along with varying amounts of cloud cover, combine in ways to really reflect who we are inside. Or they at least capture who we are on that particular day. Like I said before, some clouds are just born to block the sun and there's nothing we can do about days like that. But most days we have a choice of whether to reflect the light within or block it out. What kind of sunset will you choose to be?

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