There’s a wonderful old movie – although 1989 still sounds young to me and that’s when this film was released.
Shirley Valentine is the story of a middle-aged woman who talks to herself, or the wall, as she considers her life. I watched it for the first time this week and had to pause and repeat a section to capture this intriguing quote: The sky is always there as long as the wind is fair.
I had to think about that. In my world, the sky is always there – wind or no wind. It may be cloudy, rainy, snowy or ablaze with stars, but the sky isn’t dependent upon the wind for existence.
It struck me, that if our belief is such that the only sky worth seeing is crystalline blue, and the only life worth living is trouble-free, we’ve set ourselves up for misery.
What if we shortened that saying to, The sky is always there – period? There is permanence, and sweet comfort in that.
I spend an inordinate amount of time engaged with the sky, daydreaming. I call it Sacred Idleness and those interludes of detaching from daily routine, allowing chores to wait, recharges my batteries and stimulates creativity. Problems find solutions as I gaze into the vastness of the heavens. Every mood carries a different message.
A cloudy sky offers a unique opportunity to look for the silver lining.
The most dramatic skies may be filled with towering cumulonimbus thunderheads, black and ominous. As they scud along, suddenly one or two are outlined in a blaze of gold with light fanning out as though the very gates of paradise had opened behind them.
It’s a bold reminder that every difficulty holds the potential for growth and joy but we have to be willing to look beyond the darkness.
Feeling stuck? Watch the sky and remember everything changes. I am hard-pressed to find a fact truer than this, that nothing stays the same. It’s the reason to live every good day to the fullest and accept the not-so-good days as temporary.
Go outside. Lay down on the snow, the sand, the grass. Let earth support your body fully, and look up. How long has it been since you’ve done that? Perhaps too long.
And when the sky weeps and drums with thunder, the air is cleansed, balance is restored, and the earth is watered. Tears release bottled emotions.
When I’m happy, sad, angry, hurt, embarrassed, I cry and feel lighter afterwards. Crying is a necessary emotional release, just as lightning during a rainstorm discharges huge amounts of energy to maintain an electrical balance in the atmosphere. Cultivate tears! Make it an art form! It may enhance your emotional stability.
Wake up for the sunrise as every day is a new start.
I designed my house so I could wake up looking through a wall of east-facing windows and watch the sun rise. And since there are no coverings on those windows, and since the tropical sun tends to burst out of the horizon with the heat and intensity of a roaring fireball, I don’t sleep through many of them.
But what I love the most is the space between dark and light when morning is being born. All possibility exists in those gentle, pre-dawn moments. I’ve witnessed the most extraordinary compositions and colors that would be attributed to an artist’s imagination if painted on canvas.
In those minutes, I sometimes race for the camera, astonishing myself that I can be so agile and alert at that early hour. But more often it’s a time to watch in gratitude that I’ve been granted another day of life, another chance to be my better self.
Can you believe that all of this was prompted by one line in an old movie? Well, that and the sunrise this morning, and the fluffy clouds whisking past as I sipped hot coffee, and then the sudden shower that came out of nowhere. These thoughts were the product of today’s Sacred Idleness, aka daydreaming. I hope they resonate with you.
How do you view daydreaming: A waste of time or essential to your day? When you were a child, was daydreaming encouraged? Is daydreaming a form of meditation? Please share your thoughts in the comments.