I followed the sun

I walked away from a storm yesterday, and rediscovered the light.

Having suffered through the Commission of Presidential Debate’s showing of Three Angry Men Tuesday night, following by a private screening of The Social Dilemma Wednesday night, I was feeling a little pessimistic about humanity. With Appleton’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate spiking, I had planned to stay home and mope.

But, the late afternoon sun peaked out and waggled its persuasive rays at me and I know the best deep, cleansing breaths happen outside, so I stuffed my phone in my back pocket and headed out.

I picked up my pace and headed west away from my normal route because I noticed storm clouds gathering in the east. Then, I saw them making their way north and I soon found myself surrounded by ominous skies.

A tree provided a line of demarkation so stark I had to stop and take a picture. Storm clouds encrouched, sunlight beckoned.

I followed the sun.

As I hustled along, I thought about life in general and we humans who are making our way through it.

It occurred to me, as it sometimes does, that it isn’t opposable thumbs that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. It’s free will.

We don’t have to click on the suggested videos social media so helpfully supplies us. We don’t have to ascribe to the weird consipracy theories that show up on our feed. We can use our intellect to source information we’ve been fed, and our heart to have honest conversations with ourselves and others about what is right and wrong in this old world.

And, we have a voice that we can use in the most profound way. We can vote.

As God is my witness, and I believe God was, a rainbow formed in the sky as I made my way home — a double rainbow, in fact.

We’ve got this, fellow humans. But we have some work to do.

I think we’ll all be okay if we follow the sun.

This is the line of demarkation I observed on my walk, No Photoshop here, just a very clear distinction of storm clouds to the east, and sunlight to the west. I followed the sun.
Shortly after I made my decision to turn west, I saw this glorious display.
Then, my mood changed and I looked for images that reflected optimism.
Like these black-eyes susans.
And these changing leaves.
And this tranquil scene. This bench is dedicated to Joshua (Thurbs) Thurber. I didn’t know Josh in life but, thanks to this well-placed bench, I know that “Josh had a smile like diamonds on the lake. He will shine in all our hearts forever. Only the light that burns the brightest, burns half as long.” I also know, thanks to his obituary, that Josh died of brain cancer and that “As a child, Josh was taught to love honestly, without apology and be his authentic self. He did until his last breath. He will live on in all of the hearts that he touched and in his children’s laughter, strength and goofy facial expressions that are a “Thurber legacy.” Rest in peace Josh.
I like to think this journey we’re all on will take us to a beautiful place.
Like this gazebo, which I kept my eye on as a potential shelter in case the skies really opened up.
This one is for you Deb and Steve.
See there? Every little thing is gonna be alright. (But you have to vote, man. Seriously.)

15 thoughts on “I followed the sun

  1. WordPress is not allowing me to “like” this article, for the first time ever. Don’t know the reason for that. However, I loved your post! Thank you! I know these days can be dreary, but we have to keep our eyes on the light and not lose hope. We cannot afford to lose that glimmer of hope.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m not sure why WordPress won’t let you like it but I’m really glad you do.

  2. Laura, please tell me where you found the bench honoring Josh Thurber. I knew of his death but not the bench. He was a wonderful friend to my children and spent a lot of time at our house during those wonderful grade school and high school years.
    Mary Dexheimer

    1. The bench is in the southeast corner of Pierce Park. It’s a beautiful spot and he sounds like he was a very cool guy.

  3. Thanks Laura. I should have guessed Pierce Park. He was raised not too far from there. And yes, he was a very cool guy.

  4. Nevertheless, I am already missing summer. It is going to be a looong fall/winter time to be quarantined.

  5. Oh, Laura, you have made my day! Thurbs was my sons very best friend. Our son Jake had struggled with his health from age 15 on. By the time we finally got some answers as to what was going on was 20 years later. He had Chronic Neurolyme and by the time we tried to treat it was way to late. He was unable to work or take care of himself for such a long time as a young man. Thurbs ALWAYS stood by him no matter what. He took the time to listen and to be there for him. We lost Jake at age 37. Amazingly, right after Jake’s death Thurbs was diagnosed with cancer. Josh was like a second son to me in many ways. It was unbelievable to me that 2 young, beautiful souls left this earth within a few years of each other. Josh’s kindness and love for love live on together. Those two beautiful souls are smiling down on us all😍. Thank you again for writing such a beautiful piece that celebrates all that is good with our world❤️ Sending you grateful love❤️❤️❤️

    1. I’m very sorry to hear about your son’s health struggles and untimely death, but so glad he made an infinite friend. Every time I see that bench now, I will picture the two of them sitting on it sharing some laughs.

  6. This is beautiful. Thank you for highlighting this bench. I don’t think I even knew it existed. It’s a beautiful photograph. Josh was my husband and every bit of him lives on in the smiles of our children. They are amazing just like he was.

    1. That is so wonderful to hear. Love legacies are the best kind. I’m so glad I was able to meet Josh through that bench.

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