Monday, September 5, 2016
After the Storm, Jamestown, NC
I was out walking on the golf course last week when a buddy commented on the very hot and humid August weather. Without giving it much thought, I responded that was quite true, but if we weren’t enduring the heat and sweat that day, we wouldn’t have much appreciation for the beautiful fall golfing weather that we'd be enjoying in just a few short weeks.
Isn’t it ironic that we generally have to experience the extreme negatives in life to fully appreciate the wonderful blessings we receive all the time? There are many times when I’m driving down the interstate highways with the windows partially down and the wind is coursing through the interior cabin. That prompts me to crank up the volume on the radio to sing along with some of my favorite road trip songs. Then just as I become aware of the noise pollution surrounding me, I close the windows and turn off the radio. Only then do I really have a genuine appreciation for the beautiful silence that was there all the time.
We’ve been given life so that we may experience it to the fullest. Of course, there are stretches of time where the fullness is overflowing and overwhelming. If we can just make it to what I like to call “the eye of the hurricane” after a grueling project or rough patch in the road and take some vacation time off, that period of rest and relaxation can really get our batteries recharged again. And we appreciate the peaceful moments even more.
A dark and dismal day in late autumn with a nuisance misty rain coming down for hours can certainly create a sad and depressing mood. There’s a realization that the warm days of summer and fall are quickly fading and the cold and fallow season of winter is near. Then the clouds begin to clear, a rainbow appears in the east and sunbeams stream through the windows. As you step outside, the air is crisp and clean. The light is filtering through the colorful autumn leaves, creating an atmosphere of standing in the middle of a grand European cathedral with the soft light of multi-colored stained glass warming your face. The switch to happiness clicks on in an instant.
We enjoy one another’s presence for years. We become so complacent with someone’s company that it is easily taken for granted. Then one day that presence is absent forever. That gives us plenty of time to appreciate the memories of being with them. Isn’t it ironic that we have to experience the negative and positive opposites in life to fully appreciate our blessings? And sometimes that works in reverse.