This morning was a bit of a drizzly morning, well, that’s an understatement. We have had another 1.2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. The first part of our summer was uncharacteristically warm for Alaska, and this last half hasn’t been uncharacteristically wet, it’s usually wet in the August, September, and into October before it snows, but it’s usually just light rain and periods of sunny days all mixed in. Lately it’s been just dark and gray. The leaves are gone off the trees, and it’s been pretty dreary and colorless almost all day every day.

But there have been bright patches here and there and today was one of those bright patches. The sun came out this afternoon! It is cool outside and a bit breezy, so you need a jacket, but it’s been beautiful, and sometimes I don’t realize how much I miss that beautiful, bright ball of fire in the sky until it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. We cannot control the weather however, so sometimes we need to create a little bit of sunshine when none can be seen outside.

This week as been such a week. I have noticed the older my kids get and the more they can do on their own, like driving the places they need to be, and doing a lot more to take care of themselves, the less I have to do as a mom. This is such a great thing in the whole grand scheme of things, but in some ways, I miss all those schedules, the driving, the time spent together. This week I found myself at home alone for the majority of the week. It’s funny how all I wanted when my kids were growing up was to have a little bit of time by myself, and now I have more than I would care for sometimes. This is when I started to notice the lack of sunshine, I think, and also when I realized sometimes, I have to create those bright spots in my life even when the sun isn’t shining.

At first this time caused me to start having a bit of anxiety, but then, as I prayed for help in navigating this new phase, I was reminded of the opportunities to set goals and the things that I’ve wanted to get done for a long time but haven’t had the time. So, on Monday, I set some goals. I was able to start painting more, get the house not only straightened up, but get some of the deep cleaning done that I haven’t been able to get done, and get some things ready for local vendors and markets as well as find some Christmas markets to participate in for the next couple months. I have also had time to do more printing, sewing and just general catchup. The sun outside hasn’t been shining all week, well, it has but it’s been behind the clouds, but as I started to see what could be done my outlook brightened and my anxiety diminished.

The other morning when I took my daughter’s dog for a walk, because she was at work already, I was reminded that even though a lot of days are rainy, and even though a lot of days are mundane and can seem gray, there is always beauty somewhere in my days, actually there is a lot of beauty in many parts of my days, and I just have to slow down, sometimes pray to see, and then look around and see the beauty that is always there, and then do things to create the sunshine when I can’t actually see it shining.

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