Here Comes The Sun

Today in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and even Louisiana, COLD has gripped the nation. The sky is “a hazy shade of winter” (with nods to Simona and Garfunkel). We are locked in The Grey Zone…those interminably dark days just before Spring.
And for some people, it’s pretty darn depressing.
The Beatles reminded us that when things look and feel the worst (when politicians battle instead of perform, when ISIS rages, when religion becomes a reason for persecution once again), there is still hope. They reminded us that even then, there is hope ahead:
“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter,
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here!
Here comes the sun; here comes the sun,
And I say, “It’s all right!”
Sure, we know the words. We all know the lyrics, but applying them to life is another story.
Last week, I visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras – something we Louisiana girls do as a natural part of our heritage. But this time, instead of doing the “same ole, same ole” thing, I sought out new sights, new inspirations to dispel winter’s gloom. And I found the towering, breathtakingly lovely Church of the Immaculate Conception on Baronne Street, close to the French Quarter. After walking miles and miles, I finally located it, opened the immense, wooden door, and stepped quietly inside. This is what I saw.

Outside it was freezing: windy and raw. But inside, I discovered a haven of loveliness. For many minutes, I sat in silence and looked all around, taking beauty in. I sat alone and listened. I noticed.
To my left was a window shaded sheltered in an alcove, set apart. I looked at it for a long time.

Then my eyes wandered to a second window farther down the wall, burning with light.

What a lesson was there! The windows were identical: constructed of the same stained glass and oak, designed by the same brilliant artist, created in the very same year. The single difference in these two works of art was that one shone in the sun and the other one sat in darkness.
That afternoon, I began to think of the window to my own soul…and how dark I’ve been lately as I’ve cared for my aging father, traveling miles upon weary miles each week, to be with him. I thought of how sorry I’ve felt for myself as I’ve had to sacrifice my writing and progress on The John Lennon Series to do the very uncreative but necessary tasks that care-giving demands. I thought of how gloomy I’ve become as my life has taken an unexpected change.
Over the past year, without realizing it, I’ve become that isolated window drenched in shadow. Darkened.
But here’s the thing…unless you’re an inert window – placed forever in an alcove – admitting the sun is a choice. Paul McCartney knew that when he wrote another set of Beatles’ lyrics:
“Tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.”
A lovely bit of poetry? Yes. But it’s more than that. In that closing words of that song, Paul was making a decision; he was consciously choosing to follow the sun. And whether we sing about it or not, we are also called to decide. Each day, we’re given the option to turn our faces to joy, hope, and happiness….or to turn away.
I don’t want to be an unlit window. I don’t want to chill others with my “hazy shade of winter.” I want to shine again. And Shine On. Do you?
Here comes the sun. It’s all right!
***Speaking of sun, Lanea Stagg’s e-book, Little Dog in the Sun is #1 on Amazon e-books today. Lanea has been part of the Fest family for several years, and her book is all about choosing to live in the sun…and to live life in joy after the death of a loved one. It’s a gorgeous children’s book that really represents what the Fest is all about. HEAD HERE to purchase a copy of Lanea’s book.
Jude Southerland Kessler