“The place, with its gray sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theater after the performance–all strewn with crumpled playbills.” ~Henry James
This past weekend the sky was gray, and it was drizzling. I decided to take a walk anyway. Dreary weather seems to take me down with it. The fog was rolling over the mountains, and I felt as if I was going to be swept away with it. My goal was to find some green, new life bursting forth in the mass of broken limbs and dead leaves. I wanted some color in this otherwise dark day. Maybe I was looking for signs of hope that life goes on even as we travel a dimly lit road.
Ashen clouds loomed overhead, and vultures were circling the trees in the distance. It set the scene for a gloomy sky. I half expected the buzzards to swoop down and devour me. Their activity suddenly awakened me from my somber mood. They lunged and plunged from tree to sky to ground. I scrutinized the hustle and bustle they created through the forest.
The vultures, like me, were just biding their time. They were waiting for their daily meal of dead fish from the nearby hatchery, and I was holding out for blue skies and sunshine. We all have expectations and desires. Sometimes we expect something totally different than what we desire. And other times it is one and the same.
I found green shooting throughout the thickets of dead brush. Fern and moss clung to trees and rocks. There was life scurrying all around me. I only had to open my eyes to witness it. I often forget how my mind limits the lens of my world.
There is something about the gurgle of water that brings my world to life. I watched the water flow over the rocks and bubble around debris of leaves and sticks. The creek was at capacity and appeared to be in a hurry to get where it was headed. I listened to the song of the creek as it rippled, whirred, and gushed its way downstream. And though there was no sun shining down upon it, the water still manage to glisten in its own splendor.
I realize that sometimes I need to lower my expectations and desire less to see hope in bleak situations. When I stop thinking and pay attention to my surroundings, I find that I don’t have to look for new life to find hope or beauty. It exists in all that ever was and what is yet to be.