Over the past few months my praise and love for the Traverse City area has been expressed in many posts here on Panethos, on Facebook, or in conversations with family and friends. But even paradise on Earth can have cloudy days, both literally and figuratively.
After our initial welcome with plentiful sunshine, the weather over the past week or two has been most often cloudy and/or rainy with only intermittent peaks from old Sol. Despite this rather gloomy weather, there have been silver linings. In particular, it has been unseasonable warm for being positioned at 45 degrees North latitude, which means the falling moisture thus far has been mostly in the form of rain and not ice or snow (see the photo below from the week before Thanksgiving).
Secondly, despite the cloudiness, the waters of Grand Traverse Bay have been nearly hypnotic in their daily transition from one shade of blue, green, or steel-gray to another and every hue in-between. Mother Nature’s ever-changing palate is quite amazing to observe. Furthermore the contrasts between the cold waters of the bay, the evergreen dotted hillsides and sandy beaches framing the bay, and the rich northern skies remains breathtaking. Toss in the twinkling lights of Traverse City at night and one truly feels they are residing in Michigan’s version of Shangri-la.
Beyond the weather and water observations, each new day can certainly bring its own trials and tribulations. Whether it be a broken spring on the automatic garage door, a co-worker/friend being diagnosed with cancer, challenges finding gifts for loved ones, or simple exhaustion from a hard day’s work, the daily grind and all of its accompanying foibles doesn’t just magically disappear with a change in geography.
The trick on those less-than stellar days is to find and take joy in small and simple things, “those lovely intangibles” that make life so grand. A cheery conversation with a friend, a hug from a loved one, a funny joke or pun, a tasty beer at a brewpub, watching the avian activity at a bird feeder, gazing across the windswept waters of Grand Traverse Bay, a bicycle ride or brisk walk, or a captivating book all can turn a cloudy day in paradise into a memorable one. You just have to open your eyes and heart to those small things – it’s as simple as that. As character Fred Gailey so aptly stated in the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street,
“Look Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.” Source: imdb.com