I know that this time of the year is not associated with winter in many parts of the world, but here in “sunny” South Africa, in June we leave autumn behind and enter our winter months. So I thought I would make the theme of my editorial this month “Beating the Winter Blues”. In line with this I have also replaced my former all grey color scheme of my website with a new look featuring one of my favorite flowers: the bright yellow marigold. But life is transient in nature and so, as winter begins to set in, the former glory of my sun loving marigolds has had to make way for the more delicate viola, a plant more suited to the winter climate.
Our winters tend to have this same dichotomy, with wonderful sunny days making their ongoing entrance into days of rain and gloom. Come June, we can usually anticipate this fluctuating weather pattern for many months to come – with cold wet days even making their entrance as late as November.
The unpredictable nature of this pattern serves as a reminder that no matter how hard things can get, there are always moments of beauty onto which we can tag our bleakness and know that summer is still on the way. But this is tempered by the certainty that no matter how wonderful life might seem at a given point in time, there will also be moments of sadness, crisis or even trauma that come in to darken our days.
The question is: Where do we place our focus?
Even in the worst of weather if we take our focus off the weather and look around there are always moments that can become a good memory to walk alongside the bad ones that often tend to flood in like a heavy rain in a thunder storm.
I remember a much looked forward to outing to Seal Island in Haut Bay. Instead of the hoped for cloudless skies and wonderful views we all found ourselves huddled inside the cabin – the weather outside was dangerously bad as the boat rocked over the deep swells causing people to slide down the deck. Of course once the seals were sited, people did rush to the deck in spite of the bad weather, risking their lives in the process. When I came home my photos were also dark and gloomy – instead of color everything came out in greyscale. But with a bit of work I had fun adding my photo of children surfing at Bondi Beach in Sydney Austraia to the seals surfing here and came up with a fun picture.
Of course both are at risk of the ever present menace of the great white shark, but then that is another story.
I wonder where you might be at this moment in time? Are you experiencing a cloud burst that leaves you drained, dejected and exhausted or are you able to look at that cloudburst and decide to step out singing in spite of it?