If you’ve lived through at least one Northwest winter, you’ve confronted the concept of gray. Gray usually hits me when I’m driving the interstate on a particularly drippy afternoon. This week I had one of those gray days. I was driving I-5, continually adjusting the rate of my intermittently oscillating windshield wipers. I just couldn’t get the timing down. Every time the pacing seemed right, a semi would zoom by and splash and dash my wiper rhythm.
To make matters worse, my weather worn blades did less to clear the windshield than to smear a rain resistant residue back and forth upon the glass. This created a blurring effect akin to sauna visibility. Occasionally, a wiper movement from left to right would create a momentary clearing, only to be obscured by the blade’s return. Still, the blades worked well enough for me to position my car between the appropriate lines.
As I gazed through my murky windshield, driving a steady sixty in the slow lane of interstate five, the word came to me clearly. . . gray! This here is a gray day. Before me stretched a gray road beneath a gray sky. In the distance, a gray horizon united the gray pavement with the gray atmosphere. Within the car, my gray matter was beginning to identify with the ashen theme.
Now gray isn’t all that bad. Many a heartsick love poem or tortured love song has been birthed under a gray sky. Countless creative endeavors have found voice through a pad of paper, a coffee shop, and a prolonged drizzle. Gray days can trigger needed soul searching and introspection. Some thoughts can only be found, some words can only be spoken, some truths can only be discovered on gray days.
One has not truly seen the Pacific Ocean until they’ve confronted a winter storm. Until they’ve stood still on the wet sand, their face against the fierce winds, their eyes fixed upon the endless crashing surf. The ocean was made as much for gray as for blue.
Sometimes it is difficult to embrace and accept reality. Instead of learning how to live in the moment, we live and plan for better days. When it rains, we wish for snow. When it snows, we wish for rain. When it’s cold, we wish for warmth and when it’s gray we wish for Arizona.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with occasionally yearning for the warmth of summer or the light of spring. However, we must be careful that in pondering a preferred tomorrow we don’t overlook the beauty of today. I’ve found life works best when I embrace the power of today.
Today is the day I’ve been given. Today God can be found. Today I have everything I need for joy, peace, and meaning. Most importantly, that which is out of my control, will not control me. In other words, whether or not the gray skies are going to clear up, I can find contentment in each and every day.
Even when the day is gray. . . very, very gray.