The last few days have been unremittingly grey and cold. Foolhardy spring blooms shiver in the wind, while the rest of us insulate ourselves as much as possible with fleeces and scarves. I am encircled and mocked by a platoon of snuffly, sneezy, raspy winter cold germs, which I'm just about warding off. Hard to think it's almost March - spring feels a l-o-o-o-n-g way away...
Unsurprisingly, spirits can droop, and it's easy to feel discouraged and wearied by even the smallest things. The news doesn't help, as there are no "feel good" stories on offer. Instead, it's government cuts and increasing poverty, scandals, conflicts and dire predictions about the state of the Church and the nation. Oh, and so many angry commentaries about vowed celibacy, implicitly tarring the millions of us who are not abusers; the millions for whom celibacy is a deep, life-giving call which widens our capacity to love and to let ourselves be loved in genuine, non-possessive relationships.
Then, at lunchtime today someone said she was sure it was getting warmer and clearer. Where? I asked sceptically, pretending to scan the greyness above us for evidence of sunshine. But she was right. Within an hour light blue was seeping across the heavens, soaking through and transforming the grey. And then - oh joy! - the sun came out, and beamed beatifically on us all. The effect on my spirits was instant and magical!
On my desk I have a calendar with monthly quotes from Janet Stuart. This month's quote is especially appropriate for a grey, dispiriting month. I noticed it at the beginning of the month, after which it became familiar, and I've especially noticed it again now: - The source of our happiness is within ourselves, nothing can take it away.
Yes, the source of my happiness is within; that source being God and my relationship with God, in the Heart of Jesus. And nothing can take that away, however black the clouds, grey and dispiriting the day and anger-inducing the news and comments. The certainty of God, and of the source, is way too strong for that. So thank you for the reminder (and the burst of sunshine!)