For the first time in the twelve years we have lived on the northwest coast I feel like I may have a case of SAD [seasonal affective disorder]. Other people have spoken about this and suffered from it but I have always been quite self-righteous in my proclamations that the weather does not affect me. ” I can bike to work twelve months of the year!” But for the past few weeks it has been consistently wet, cold and grey. The clouds squat mercilessly close to the ground and persistently piss forth a cold concoction that is a bit snow, a bit rain, a bit hail but really not anything other than annoying, especially when I’m biking. The crocuses pushed up through the soil months ago but the poor flowers remain closed because they never get anything they want to open up for!

I’ve been a miserable lout the past few weeks. Yes, my brother-in-law died a month ago, our young adult kids are in transition, our parents are aging, my brother is going through hard times, I’m in the midst of mid-life issues, friends’ marriages are on the rocks, there are debts to pay and other first world problems, but I really have no excuse other than the weather. I feel like I’m a shallow individual. I did have the flu out the back end one day last week so at least I could honesly say I felt the shits for a day, but that is over now!

Next Sunday I am preaching in our church. I hope it will not be too depressing because I am incapable of becoming a fake, shiny happy person for the occasion. Thankfully it is Lent and assigned subject matters and texts are reflective in nature. My title will be “Rise from the Ruins,” using primarily the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah seems appropriate for Lent, grey skies and deep emotions. I’m preparing to do it in a spoken word poetry format. I find that sermons always become autobiographical and this one will be no different. If working on this helps me to keep up hope maybe it can inspire a few others experiencing deeper shades of grey to hope as well.