We often pay attention to the small negative aspects of life rather than to all the many wonderful things we have going on.
The few – often inconsequential things that go wrong for us – are really just tiny drops in the ocean of our amazing life. However – because we focus on them – they get blown into epic, awful experiences.
I used to feel the decreasing daylight that accompanies this time of year was one of the epically unpleasant side effects of the holidays. It has plagued me over the years – depending on how much I complained and cursed the darkness.
I first arrived in Anchorage 20 years ago – Dec. 10, 1996 – from the Lower 48. I was excited to move to such an exotic place. I was also occupied with the happy bustle of Christmas celebrations. It was at least enough not to fully understand the sun was disappearing. Nonetheless, after the holiday shininess wore off, the darkness set in and by mid-Jan 1997, I was having vivid, technicolor dreams of beautiful, expansive wheat fields, verdant prairies, and rolling vistas full of tall corn and all sorts of luscious greenness.
One morning, after waking up, I turned to Bill, my husband, and told him what I’d been dreaming about. He knew just what to do.
“It’s okay. We need to get you to the greenhouses around town,” he said.
He took me to a greenhouse on Muldoon. Do you remember it? It was lovely, with a little stream running through it. There were even birds inside. It was so wonderful to venture into the warmth, humidity, and greenness, and after visiting for a while, I certainly felt better about life, the universe, and everything.
Twenty years later, we now live on the north side of the Eagle River valley and the living area of our home is southwest facing. Through large windows, we get to look out over the spectacular view. When it’s dark, we can watch vehicles wind up Hiland Rd and then disappear back into the next valley beyond. The pleasant panorama has been such a blessing.
Another gift I’ve been so appreciative of is that for 15 minutes or so – when the sky is clear, of course – the sun makes a brief appearance across the saddle between the two mountains across from us.
I came round the corner of the dining room last week just before lunch, and I was blinded by the sun. I closed my eyes, pointed my nose like a solar panel into the beaming warmth, and stood there still and quiet. I took a couple of long, deep breaths and let go of the tension in my shoulders.
It was luxurious, even delicious. It was heaven.
I decided to pull a chair out from the dining room table and I sat down still pointed into the sun. As I sat there, I breathed evenly and comfortably, and I thought about all the happy amazing people I have in my life. I basked in the sun’s light, warmth and the love I have for my family and friends.
If you get the chance to bask in love or the sun’s rays, I highly recommend it. These are both very good things. A little sun goes a long way to helping most everyone feel a lot better.
Let me know what you love. Email me at Elizabeth@echoak.com.