Life,  Medium

And Everything Will Cycle Through

Musings from the end of summer.

Life is a washing machine. This is the conclusion I recently came to as I was driving home one evening while twilight leaked out of the sky.

I have been feeling utterly overwhelmed, hopeless, and lost lately. I am working towards achieving my dreams but struggling to make it through day-to-day as the world seems to be crumbling around me.

I tend to have bouts of immense sadness during the summer, and these past few months were no exception. I wilt under the neverending sun and ninety-degree days — I am a flower that thrives in shady days with a crisp breeze. Couple the ingratiatingly hot weather we’ve had in Colorado lately with a dense layer of smoke hovering over the state brought to us by California wildfires, and my petals were wilting a bit more than usual. There were days my beloved Colorado Rockies were invisible behind a wall of gray, and weeks the sun bled red.

I guess you could say that the world outside matched the universe inside my mind.

And then, as it always does, the weather changed. Brisk northerly winds swept through the state and into the corners of my mind, clearing away the smoke for a moment.

I could once again breathe deeply and roll the windows down as I drove into the dusk of night. I could focus on something other than the dismal, gray, smog that had consumed my mind.

It’s during nights like these, where the mountains glow in silhouette as the sun sets and the perfect song comes on shuffle, that my mind, body, and soul can reset. It’s where I find inspiration, where I’m blessed with a moment of solace, and where the mundane collides with the divine.

On this particular night, I drove slowly with my face careened up into the windshield, admiring the clouds as cool air whipped against my face.

There was one cloud, in particular, that seemed iridescent, hanging midair in such a way that its tail caught the last few speckles of sunlight as the glowing orb disappeared behind blue-black mountain peaks.

I admired the shape of the whispy cloud as it glowed yellow and orange, trying to determine just what it represented. There were legs, surely — human-like and bent as if crouching. A slim torso simultaneously stretching towards the sky. I realized the cloud resembled a diver, poised to jump off the tip of a darkened skyline into a fiery pool of light behind the mountains. A person springing into a bright and beautiful something.

I was forced to crank my neck away from the clouds when I came to a stoplight, sailing through a right turn and merging onto the highway, and the next time I looked, the iridescent diver had disappeared. She was gone, a trail of blue, wispy cloud in her wake.

And that’s when it hit me — just like clouds, just like sunlight, just like seasons, we cycle through. Life is a washing machine, on spin cycle, on rinse, on empty, and then filled again. Sometimes we are that diver, excited to springboard into a new phase of life, other times we are a hazy gray day when mountain peaks are shielded from sight.

I kept thinking on the drive home that night that I needed to savor it. Tomorrow’s forecast was calling for another ninety-something-degree day and poor air quality to trap the air inside my car. It made me want to cry, thinking about going backward, about retreating back inside, about this glorious night being only a memory.

But life is like a washing machine — tonight full to the brim, spinning a thousand miles a minute, tomorrow empty and stagnant.

Sometimes I may not thrive and begin to wilt, but I need only remember that there have been good moments in the past, and everything will cycle through.

Previously published on Medium

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