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Blue Sky Returning
Blue Sky Returning

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
—Marc Chagall

Before I moved to Michigan, friends warned me about the long months of overcast skies. I’d lived in climates where winter came with snow and freezing temperatures, but also included plenty of sunshine and that sharp cobalt reserved for particularly cold days. Here, though, the latter two seem to vanish some time in November.

By the time April rolls around, I find the blue that returns to the sky…confusing. My brain can’t quite make sense of it. My eyes are so unused to anything other than grey that they don’t know how to process the richness of another color. It’s as though they’ve survived on thin gruel for several months and are suddenly presented with molten chocolate cake.

I can fall into living like that, too: hunkered down, nose to the grindstone, out of touch with what feeds my soul. I’ll focus so much on getting through the bare essentials of the day that I’m not sure what to do when an opportunity for joy pops up. Is it real? Do I deserve technicolor experiences? Shouldn’t I keep my expectations low since the grey will inevitably return?

Then I remind myself that my singular life is part of that technicolor tapestry, along with the tumbling waterfalls and purring cats and unfurling blossoms. I can no more step outside the vibrant flow of life than I can reverse the cycle of the seasons. However imperfectly I may be living this life of mine, there’s no one better at it, and there’s no one else who can do it for me.

While the grey days aren’t over yet, there’s still joy to be found in the chiaroscuro of bare branches against a luminous sky. A veil may obscure the vivid hues for now, but I can look with new eyes for the essential richness underneath.

Prayer
Inescapable Love, help us find opportunities for joy wherever they appear. Remind us of spring’s heady perfumes, exuberant colors, and the warmth of sun on our skin. When the road seems endless, reconnect us to the deeper essentials of our lives so that we may be sustained. Amen and blessed be.

About the Author

  • Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich is a minister, writer, musician, and activist dedicated to a vision of radical inclusion in both language and action. She currently serves as Assistant Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.

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