On clear days, the morning sunshine spills and splashes into the hollow, but there are places it doesn't reach...spots where the road hugs tight to a steep side of a hill and down along the creek and other places in the woods where the sunlight can't pass through the leaves on the oak trees.
There are days when I feel like I'm standing in one of those spots...standing in a shadow, unable to feel the warmth of the sun. Today is one of those days.
I'm not worried. It hasn't happened in a while, but it happens and I know it will pass. I know even if can't feel the light in my heart, it's close and it will return. I read somewhere that even Mother Teresa experienced days like this.
Shadows are cast by objects blocking the light, and I'm trying to figure out what it is that's blocking the light and casting this shadow around me. I have no reason to be sad or depressed. Not directly. My family is relatively healthy; we are blessed with jobs, food, shelter, clothes; we get to live in this beautiful place that I love. I have family and friends who love me. It makes me ashamed to feel this way! Lord, how would I deal with a real problem?
Perhaps it's because the holidays are coming up...I have big plans of being organized and on time this year with my decorating, shopping and cards...I really want to go see the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (or whatever they're calling it this year) and experience the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (I've never been!)...but without forfeiting time for reflection and activities focusing on Christ's birth...the "reason for the season."
How am I going to do that? We're preparing for Thanksgiving right now...only the second time in my home and the first time with Tom's family (part of his family, anyway...there will only be about 15 of us, altogether, not 50 or 60!) There's so much to do and so little time left in the day to do it...in a whole weekend and and one evening, we've barely made a dent in it and my to-do lists are multiplying like rabbits. I can't even think about Christmas yet. But I realize to get it done, something (most likely my writing and work-outs...my sanity-savers) will have to go by the wayside for a while.
But it will be a fabulous weekend, even if we don't get everything done...first Thanksgiving, then a wedding in San Antonio. But now it looks like there might also be one of my "classmates get-togethers" being planned in Austin that weekend on the same day as the wedding. I'll have to miss it. Perhaps that's part of the shadow...
Or maybe it's because Charly is skin and bones but we can't get him to eat. Well, we can't get him to eat his food, anyway. If Max drops some of his on the deck, Charly's there in a heartbeat to snatch it up. We thought maybe his food was too hard and crunchy (ignoring the fact that he has no problem eating his milkbone treats!) so I changed the ratio of canned food and kibble; 1/3 canned became 1/3 kibble. Ah, that did it...for one feeding or two. Then he turned his nose up at it again. Tom broke down and just fed him Max's food (the special food that costs and arm and a leg!) because, hey, he's old and skinny! Give him what he likes! It worked...until this morning. He ate about a third of his then went scavenging around Max's bowl. ("Charly! It's the same stuff!!")
Maybe I just need a kid fix. It's been several weeks since I've seen any of them, hasn't it? And then it wasn't for very long. Not long enough. Thank the Lord for cell phones and email...I've talked to all of them in snatches within the last few days...but it's just not the same as seeing their faces, hearing their voices, feeling their hugs.
Yes, maybe that's it. At the thought of my kids, my heart is swelling up and tears are peeking out of my eyes. They will all be here for Thanksgiving, hallelujah! In just a couple of weeks, it will be loud and crazy and I will love it...even as I long to slip off somewhere quiet.
Perhaps it's all of these things. Perhaps it's something I just haven't recognized yet. Perhaps it's hormones and I just need a good cry.
Whatever it is, I know it will pass. I know soon I'll step back into the sunlight...I know it's there, just around the corner...
In times of dryness and desolation, we must be patient, and wait with resignation the return of consolation, putting our trust in the goodness of God. We must animate ourselves by the thought that God is always with us, that he only allows this trial for our greater good, and that we have not necessarily lost his grace because we have lost the taste and feelings of it. - St. Ignatius of Loyola