We have been living under grey skies. Now and then there has been a break in the clouds, and we’ve had one or two whole glorious days of sunshine where the world seemed suddenly to come alive and feel filled with promise, but all too soon it seems the clouds return.
I am not well. It happens. But like the weather, when the unwellness of Chronic Fatigue goes on for days and days and then the days turn in to weeks and then eventually to months, there are times when frustration and fear settle in me and darken the way I see, the way I think. It’s hard if I’m not able to go out for a walk when the sun does shine, and hard if, when I do have more strength, the sky is a solid white, or a solid grey, and the light is as flat and unchanging as my mood.
But one day not long ago I had energy enough to go for a walk, and it wasn’t raining, so I took my camera and thought that since greyness prevailed I would go and celebrate things that are grey, enjoy the soft subtlety of quiet colours that tell a story of soft rain, of mist and fog and twilight.
It’s good to walk slowly on a grey day, to stop and gaze at things you might not bother with at other times. The sun brings out beauty everywhere but on an afternoon like this you can find the hidden glory in a moss-covered wall, because in its quiet, undemonstrative way it’s just the loveliest thing around, beautiful in itself without the spotlight of sunshine.
I started to enjoy myself, a lot. Moving slowly, I walked and looked and found things I felt a connection with. When I am bone-weary and dejected I don’t want excitement, or entertainment, or conversation or anything that requires much energy. I want to seek out things that are singing a quieter song that is closer to my own heart, and I found it in corrugated iron, in peeling plywood, in rusting metal and in crumbling stone.
I’m finding that it’s so much better to start from where I am and from how I’m feeling, not longing and looking for a way to be different. I’m understanding how to listen to myself, something I find I’ve never really learned to do, and to be kinder and more compassionate.
Discovering that right now things are, actually, OK, somehow suddenly and strangely makes it so; the way ahead no longer seems important. And mysteriously, and without effort, things start to get better.