The sun is finally out again! Recently at 5:00 am, while I was sitting awake at the dining room table, in the dark, before the thermostat kicked in to warm the house, next to a sink full of dirty dishes, pumping milk because I hadn’t seen my baby awake in fourteen hours (the one night she actually sleeps, wouldn’t you know) I drew my daily tarot card, and I was surprised to see the Sun.
It’s probably the most optimistic of the Major Arcana cards, and shows a happy baby on a white horse in the full glow of daylight, and implies ease and joy and transparency in one’s endeavors. It does not on the surface seem to reflect my current situation, nor to go along with the run of dark Swords cards I’ve been drawing these past few dark and difficult weeks.
But, you know? The sun did come out. It was finally a bright and gorgeous winter day here in Indiana – felt like the first in months. We had an afternoon concert and it went well – really well. It made me want to get back out running, and I did. And I can still do it. I can still play the oboe and I can still run and I am still me and all it took was a change in the weather for me to see it. It’s been a hard month in a hard year, but the sun is on me again and I can do this.
And it struck me that all this winter while I’ve been feeling like a big fake barely getting through my days and my gigs and still somehow receiving compliments and still giving the impression of being in control of my life – well, let’s see if I can put this right. The reason that it looks – from the outside – like I have myself together is that from the outside I do have myself together. I am in fact walking out of the house wearing unsoiled clothes most days and don’t run out of toilet paper and the baby is thriving and my students are improving weekly. I am in fact pulling off the concerts I need to play, and if I’m not as prepared in rehearsals as I want to be or if I have only one legitimate reed in my case at any one time it doesn’t really matter to anyone but me. I’m leaning on the great musicians around me for inspiration, but that’s not the same as needing to be carried – I’m still the one at the other end of the oboe making it work. I am not running 25 miles a week right now, but I’m getting out there a little bit, and it’s going to get better as the days get longer and the weather improves.
The Sun is telling me, in fact, that what people see by the light of day IS to a large extent what counts, and that the point is not that I’m getting away with seeming okay but that by seeming that way I AM okay. It doesn’t really matter how hard it feels before dawn if by day I am still performing, running, coping, and loving what I do. So I’m counting my blessings, and enjoying the Sun.