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Lake Superior: Moods of the Country / Moods of Mine.

Today the rains came to interrupt my wood-splitting. One cup of coffee later, they are still with me. It appears rain has settled in for a while.

Yesterday, I had that kind of dampened mood, much like today's weather. Lots of overcast and grey, the window panes flirting with rain droplets.

What to make of the two?

1. So much depends on PERSPECTIVE. If I decide rain is bad (or depressing or a disaster to my day's plans) then today is a disappointment and a bother. If I decide rain has its own kind of ethereal beauty and enhances the landscape, then I will be content and happy with this change.

2. How wedded / welded am I to my GOALS? Each of us has our ideas about whether things happen on schedule. We can insist, but to what advantage when the rains come? We can tread lightly, be somewhat disappointed but we can also move on to the next project, maybe inside. Our choice even when we experience a "down" day.

3. Rainy days can tell us individually a lot about what we VALUE? Is sunny and bright always preferable to a softer light? Some would call today "gloomy." But does it not also couch mystery? Doesn't the earth need time to draw into itself? Can the nourishment of rain exist on a day when the sun only throws shadows?

What can moods teach us? Do they draw us ever deeper into the "root structure" of our lives? Can they bring a kind of nourishment? Must they always only be "endured?" Or can the patter of rain on my roof be enjoyed even as I am doing now as I write?

4. Rainy days also reflect how we view TIME. For some, time is slowing down. They're OK with that. For others, life is always about running, staying ahead, never allowing the more melancholy parts to catch up to them.

Rain is a pause, a rest in the music of life. We know that "rests" enhance the music. Imagine your favorite song without them?

Moods have that unique ability to get us to take in all the aspects of our personhood. They are the somber notes and not just the bright ones.

5. Moods CHANGE. The Buddhists have a saying: "Feelings are like clouds in the sky. They come. They go." Rarely, if ever, do they stay the same.

We can learn to trust this. We can learn not to be so surprised when certain moods settle in. We can also be reassured they can leave us.

Insisting that they must, perhaps isn't the best strategy.

Accepting the day as it is might work a little better. There are still things to be done. We can sit back and be curious (without getting soaked). We can acknowledge what should be obvious: that we can't control everything simply by saying it must be so.

And while the world is diffused, it still holds a beauty all its own. That is, unless we have to see everything, all the time.

(Note: a persistence of dark mood and a sense of hopelessness is called depression. That should be examined by a qualified professional. Lack of sleep can exacerbate this. Check on-line for symptoms if you suspect your mood is extreme or persistent and consult with a family doctor if concerned.)