It starts slowly. A glow in the distance, red hues mixing in with the black and grey.
The world around me begins to take form as I become aware of the cracked streets stained with the salt of snowplows, bare parking lots, dormant office buildings.
That’s when I see it.
The rays of fire burning across the sky, their glow casting shadows through skeletal tree branches that line the horizon. And I hold my breath, jaw slowing opening in awe as I stare through the window and watch the glory of the sun climb into view.
With each inch it moves, the world comes more alive as the darkness I had been walking in minutes earlier is driven away. And as the bottom of this blazing sphere clears the top of the tree line, I realize there are tears in my eyes.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been standing there, and I’m not sure if the tears are caused by the sun’s beauty or its harsh light, but I feel a calm. I realize that despite the anxiety I had felt over the week, despite the craziness of the past few months of my life, things are going to be okay.
The darkness is passing, and the sun is rising. Just like it always does.
Everyone Has Bad Days
Sometimes, you face a day that you simply can’t win against. Things go wrong or you find yourself dwelling on something of the past you can’t quite shake off your mind. Whatever the cause, you keep your head up and move on to the next day.
But sometimes, that bad day stretches into two days. Then a week. And if things keep spiraling, and you’re suddenly caught in a bad month, that’s when life gets dark.
You can be as optimistic as you want to be, but when, despite your best efforts, your situation isn’t improving, you start to think that it won’t get better. This is life now. The sun has set on you, never to rise, and you’re bound to roam in darkness forever.
So you dwell in the dark, unable to see what’s around you, unable to find a way out.
It’s easy to stumble in the darkness. You lose your path. You feel alone. And you start to forget what the light even looks like. You wonder if you ever really knew warmth and joy. Maybe you’ve never really been happy. Maybe no one is.
But the light is still there. Even if you can’t see it or feel its warmth. It’s coming, ready to shine and drive away the darkness.
Sometimes you just have to wait. Sometimes you just have to hold out for the night until the sun arrives and makes things right again. You have to remember that this darkness is only temporary.
Look for the First Rays
As I was reminded recently, the sun doesn’t instantly rise. It’s not pitch black one moment and high noon the next. The transition is slow and subtle. You might not even notice at first.
But soon, the sky begins to change, and you can start to see what’s around you with clarity. Before the sun has even shown itself, the first rays begin to bring about a new day.
And when the sun begins to breach the edge of the sky, everything changes.
So if you feel like you’re wandering in darkness, look for the light. It’s coming. In fact, it might already be starting to shine.