The dark grey cloud

A profile photo of Richard Saunders

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It’s 00:17, and I’ve woken from a five and a half our sleep. I was irritable yesterday afternoon and to save anyone any bother I took myself off to bed early.

It had been a lovely day; whilst cold and a little wet, M and I had gone for a walk with the dog in to the nature reserve. We’d wrapped up warm, and I popped her in the back carrier and made our way through the slippery fields. Our collie loves this walk, lots to sniff. The freedom to run without a care in the world, an escape from the house, time to be free.

It’s good to be out in the fresh air, but I don’t always feel like getting out. It never used to be a problem, I would rise early, head down the stairs and Esra would be standing waiting to go out. It was a time to think, to pray, and enjoy my surroundings. A place to set the tone for the rest of the day.

We‘ve had our morning routine. 5:45, we’d be out no matter the weather. Wrapped up warm, dressed for a deluge or in shorts and enjoying the warmth of a summer morning.

It’s a rarity to see that routine now. Life is consuming. So much time taken up by I don’t know what. We’re a family of four, soon to be five but I don’t understand where time goes, or why I feel like I do sometimes.

I live in Wales, and some say the dark grey cloud reflects the weather of the South Wales valleys. But the dark grey cloud is more than the weather, its more than a dark gloomy morning, more than a change of the season.

It’s like the damp drizzle that gets down to your skin, it just sits there. The cold that penetrates every layer of your being. The weight of complete exhaustion that limits any desire of crawling out of bed. Sometimes its like someone is sapping every ounce of joy and enjoyment of your life. Nothing seems to be able to shake it off.

It turns up unannounced. Like the early part of a storm, you can feel the pressure change. Your peripheral vision changes as you see the mist coming in.

Everything is still going on around you, but the mist becomes your focus, you try to knuckle down and get through it. You can just about see everyone around you. You’re able to do a few things, but everything feels like an effort. You drag your feet wanting the cloud to lift.

It sits their lingering over everything you do. Clouds your judgement, thoughts and feelings. You question everything, am I any good, I wish I could be better, no one really cares what I think. Relationships are effected, conversations become exacerbated and irritability kicks in.

There are highs and lows. But like the weather in the valleys it can lift, the sun shines through, shadows form but are behind you. You walk down the stairs, the lead goes on, you tie up your boots and you enjoy the fresh air. A time to think, to pray and to be thankful.

I pray for more moments like these.