Walking Toward the Sunshine: On Choosing Beauty
“Walk towards the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.” ― Mary Engelbreit
Winter is a bleak time, especially in former Soviet Bloc countries. I know this well, from these four winters of living in Prague, where the absence of color and light seems to be magnified.
All around Prague, Communist housing projects scathe the skyline. Square buildings about 20 stories tall stand like trees making up forests of dense housing blocks. Laundry hangs from balconies in every type of weather. It’s about February every year when I really start to feel it. For me, the colorlessness comes not only from the snow and mud that covers the landscape, but also the barrenness of the season.
No matter where we live, though, or what kind of housing we live in, finding beauty is not easy. One of the hardest things in life is finding the good and positive in circumstances that are beyond our control.
It is so hard to …
- Find the color amidst the gray
- See the positive inside the difficult
- Search for the good despite challenging circumstances
- Dig in our heels and stay despite the urge to run and flee
- Cling to a wisp of internal peace, share a smile, and cling to what we value despite the grind of life
- Be ourselves, unwavering, when others want us to be someone else
- Shine and bloom wherever we find ourselves planted
But it is possible. We can choose to find the good and the positive. Life will be much brighter because of that simple choice.
Now, as my family and I prepare to return to life in the United States, I know now more than ever that life is not better / greener on the other side. Life is challenging wherever we are. The most important thing we can do each day is focus on a sunny path forward and choose to find the beauty wherever we are.
For you: What do you do to brighten dark days?