Here in the heart of North Carolina, epic snow and bitter temperatures haven’t been an issue.
We’ve had a different plague.
For nine dark days in a row, it’s rained.
Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
Small rivers flowing over roads and through parking lots. Yards turned to absolute bogs. Maybe we can raise a bumper crop of Venus flytraps.
The farmers say it’s good for the cows, that continuously pulling their feet up high from so much mud as they walk builds their muscles (is this true? The rain is beefing up the beef?).
Not so for humans. The utter gloom left us in a zombie-like stupor.
Gray day after gray day after gray day . . . .what did the sun even look like? Feel like?
Wait—I remember reading something like this. I first encountered it long, long ago. A story of bad enchantment. . .
“When you try to think out clearly what this sun must be, you cannot tell me. You can only tell me it is like the lamp. Your sun is a dream; and there is nothing in that dream that was not copied from the lamp. The lamp is the real thing; the sun is but a tale, a children’s story” . . . Slowly and gravely, the Witch repeated, “There is no sun.” And they all said nothing. She repeated in a softer, deeper voice: “There is no sun.” After a pause, and after a struggle in their minds, all four of them said together: “You are right. There is no sun.” It was such a relief to give in and say it.
—C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
How easy to forget there ever was a sun, succumbing to the mind-numbing sound of rain, rain rain, just as Prince Rilian, Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum fell under the spell cast by the strum, strum, strum of the Witch on her stringed instrument.
Until yesterday, that is, when I heard a sound other than falling water.
Just outside my bedroom window, birds were singing. Merrily.
Despite the pouring rain, on a morning with no sun, they sang with pure zest.
How it lifted my spirits. Surely the sun could not be far from returning. Surely the birds knew it, were proclaiming it ahead of time: This this this too will pass pass pass. This this too will pass pass pass, wait and see, wait and see . . .
Then, today, bit by bit, the grayness lifted. Yellow shafts of light suddenly spilled through the blinds; I ran right outside to revel in the brightness. Now, as the afternoon wanes, shimmering golden fingers are playing across my keyboard, my hands, the table, the walls. I think of a happy child, dancing, full of joie de vivre, joy of living.
Today just so happens to be Sunday.
And now I have a bit of song for you, little harbinger birds:
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right.