Friday, September 24, 2010

restless heart in the rain

The past few weeks, persistent clouds and daily raindrops have returned to Portland. Fall seems to be here and for me, it feels much too soon. I had pictured a lovely, golden evening for my birthday last Friday and hosting a cocktail party on my pretty patio in my new apartment. It was not to be, the weather insisted on delivering a cold, wet weekend. It is silly to complain about weather, something I can do nothing to change. Anytime I can catch a bit of sun in my day, it feels like a surprise gift - and like a cat, I want to stop everything, stretch out and soak up the warmth.

It's fair to say I am hungry for sunshine. And I've been restless, so very restless.

After the month in Mexico, it has been a bit of a struggle setting back into my life in Portland since the weather turned and school began again. Yesterday I was reflecting on this and asked myself why? Why is this so hard for me now, when in the past I relished the coming of cool temperatures and rain?

Who was that girl that loved the cloudy skies and the drama of what most people consider "bad weather"?

When I was 19 I went to Europe for a year and ended up, (by design) working in Scotland. I adored the dreary climate, the sky full of clouds, sometimes dynamic, but often like a soft, solid gray blanket. Wearing layers of wool, rain boots and carrying an umbrella made me feel happy and comforted. And even as recently as eight years ago, when I chose to relocate here in the Pacific Northwest, I relished the often gloomy weather. I was attracted to cloudy skies!

That girl, my friends, was depressed. For years of my adult life, I was depressed. Was that true at 19? Maybe, I might have been depressed then. But more likely the whole truth is that I also used to romanticize darkness and struggle and yes, even depression. At 19, I felt sure one couldn't make great art if one was happy. Only Pollyannas were happy. And everyone knows that Pollyannas aren't making great important art, right?

When I get really honest with myself, I can see that even eight years ago, when I moved here, I still held on to some of those childish notions about happiness and the relationship between darkness and creativity, too. Slowly, I have shed those sad skins I carried for so long. Life has surprised me with joy and I've changed into someone who loves living in the light. I'm not afraid of having my dark and messy parts exposed by bright sunshine. I crave it, in fact. I can't ever remember a time I was this happy and even though I am talking about feeling restless, I am also solidly content within myself. This is new, it is extraordinary!

And so I don't find dark days, cloudy skies and wet weather comforting. The gray blanket just feels oppressive now...

I used to need weather that matched my mood. Correction: I still need weather that matches my mood, but the inner climate has changed. I feel sunny on the inside and I crave the support that warm sunshine brings to my spirit. These gray days have me feeling very restless and I am thinking hard about moving south, towards more sun, more warmth...

Could I uproot my life again at this stage? What would it mean to replant myself in warm soil, in a sunny climate? This restless heart wants to find out...

1 comment:

Jomon said...

oh dear. I must just keep thinking about how I'll get to visit you in tropical paradise.