The one about the sun

The sun looks different

Driving home from work for the past two weeks I’ve noticed it

The weather is still very warm

My air conditioner is getting a workout

My hair still frizzes in the heat

But the sun looks different

There’s something different about the sun in late August compared to early June. The shadows it casts are longer. It exudes warmth but warmth that seems to warn of a chill arriving soon. Oh sure there’s a scientific explanation for it. I’m not interested in that one. I’m interested in the difference that I feel in my bones. In my fingertips. In my heart. Summer is ending. And I’m not ready.

Each weekend I head to the shore and I listen to the wave’s crash on the sand. I sleep. And I sleep better there on the sand with the sun shining right in my face than I ever do at home in the dark of my room. There I’m used to seeing the twilight of early morning come around and I’m still awake to greet it. Insomnia is my old friend. It meets me every night of every week. Wakes me up at 3 am. Or, keeps me awake. Sometimes worried. About the future. My future. The future of those I love. The future of the world. But also sometimes it keeps me up with not so scary thoughts. Sometimes it’s just thoughts. My mind going and going. Not with fear. But going just the same.

And yet, when I’m spread out on my towel in the sand, the sun warming my face, and the waves moving in and out, lulling me to sleep…my brain is silent. No thoughts, bad or good. Just empty. A lovely emptiness. A peaceful emptiness. But now the sun is different. And soon I won’t be able to stretch out on that beach. Soon fall will come and then winter. Summer can’t last forever as much as I might wish it would.

So for two weeks I’ve ignored it. The different sun. I’ve made plans for weekends away like normal. I’ve talked about moving to Florida. I’ve done everything short of plugging my ears, closing my eyes and whining like a child that if I can’t see or hear it summer won’t leave. And then tonight I got out of my car and the sun shining through the tree in front of my house was so beautiful I literally stopped in my tracks. And I thought to myself if I keep my eyes closed I’ll miss seeing this. If I plug my ears I won’t hear the wind in the trees.

Change is scary. Especially when where you are is so beautiful. What if what comes next isn’t as wonderful? What if it’s scary? What if it’s uncomfortable? What if means changing something fundamental about myself? These are all possibilities.

But what if where I’m going is even more beautiful than where I currently am? What if what comes next is just as wonderful? What if it’s scary the way the first drop on a roller coaster is? Scary but thrilling. What if it’s uncomfortable? What if I need to be uncomfortable? These are also possibilities. In fact I would venture to say that more than possibilities; these are probabilities.

The sun looks different. Different and beautiful. Fall is coming. And there will be beauty in the fall. I’m not going to wonder about my sleep or my job or my friends or my faith. I’m going to open my eyes and look at the different sun. And marvel at its beauty. Feel the warmth of it on my face. Curl up in it and read a good book. You see, the sun looks different, but it’s really not. It’s the same sun. I just had to look a little closer to see it.

Hello Old Friend


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