Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sky Blue Sky


“Maybe the sun will shine today
and the clouds will blow away”

As a native Texan I often like to pat myself on the back every so often for taking to Midwest living so well (a place I never in my life imagined myself living - just being honest). Butt freezing 20 degree temperatures - pas ne problem. Cold wet white stuff that gets tracked through the house regardless of where shoes are taken off - bring it. Slick black roads that have me driving so slow that I may as well be in park - hey, it's good to slow down every now and then.
All these things I can bare. All these things I can even find endearing from time to time. The only thing that I can't seem to come to terms with however is the gray. The gray that seems to move in around late November, and then sticks around through February or early March. The dark settles in by about 5 pm where it remains for the next 14 hours. Ugh.
Growing up in Texas one rarely has to experience more than a few days at a stretch with no sun. A phenomenon that I think is easily taken for granted unless one spends an extended amount of time a little further from the equator. For me it was during my first winter in Prague that Kevin stated the obvious, informing me that what I thought was my first-ever bout with depression could have something to do with the fact that I hadn't felt the warmth of the sun or seen the blue of the sky for a number of months. Something that I hadn't really considered but suddenly it all made sense. I'd heard of this, a seasonal depression of sorts.
Since then I have managed to find ways to deflect the blahs in a magic Wonder Woman bracelet kind of fashion, but ultimately there isn't enough exercise, yoga, and wine in the Midwest that can take the place of the bright warm sun and the sky blue sky. The sun as it warms you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. The sun that reaches through the skin and warms your very soul. Ah, I miss that sun. And around this time of year I absolutely crave it.
I indulged as much as I could while I in Dallas last month. Times were rough and emotions were high, 2 things that kept me in my running shoes. The sun was the other thing. For the first 4 or 5 days I was there the sun shone brightly and the temperature hovered in the high sixties. Ah, Texas in December. Running through my neighborhood, across my greatly improved old high school campus, music blasting, sun shining, it was healing. It helped. I needed that sun and sky and so I had it - for those 4 or 5 days at least. Eventually the gray started to settle in , just in time for my return flight to Indy. Luckily that too was short lived.
When we got to Hawaii and my feet first touched sand, I looked up at the bright blue expanse and suddenly Wilco's Either Way started to play in my head. I hadn't listened to that album in months and out of nowhere the lyrics were just there. So I let it play as we staked our claim in the sand and spread out the towels. By the time I'd applied my sun screen and laid down to close my eyes, I was on song 3, Sky Blue Sky. Little by little I began to breathe, inhaling the sun and sky, exhaling the gray and the ick. And as the sun worked its magic, I continued to breath, enjoying it while it lasted.

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