I Waited For the Sun

Posted by Michele Crawford, Apr 20, 2020

I wanted to see the sun. Sounds silly, I know, but this shelter-in-place lifestyle is taking a toll on my vitamin D levels and I could tell. The Cleveland skies are usually pretty grey, but the early-April date brought a bit of hope. As I checked my weather app, I followed up and set my alarm for 6:30 a.m., giving myself a little time to take a quick snooze before moving to my southeast window with a cup of chai tea in my M-initialed mug. It’s my favorite one. I was ready! Silhouettes of the familiar building roofs and outlines, similarly spaced light poles, and parked cars were faintly in view, still under the twilight sky. As the sunrise hour approached, I kept checking for a glimpse of the bright ball … the hour passed … still nothing. Or so it seemed. I had intentionally planned to notice something regular. I later gave up on catching a glimpse of the sun, but the fact that it was present somewhere up there provided the lesson I needed for the day. My clouded view was not just the occurrence outside of my window, but maybe it was something deeper.

Sometimes the source of our perceived needs is shielded, just to remind us of the greatness we take for granted and get us to yearn for something regular again. For many, that greatness is integrated in art, through creation and sharing. The brilliance of the solar system and the access to the sun is something we all share. Despite the classes we put ourselves in, despite the prejudices we choose to uphold and create, our sun is seemingly the same. It is a reminder of a new day beginning and, ready or not, another chance to be. Oftentimes it’s when I am searching that the solution stays unseen. When I over-exaggerate attention towards it is often when I miss the whole rising. My biggest lesson from the excessive alone time and relaxation of busyness is that though it seems many things are inaccessible, I still have access. I can still create, think, make mistakes, and breathe. Even though the sun sometimes remains behind the clouds, it never stops shining and doing the work the world depends on. Despite the international standstill, and blurry vision of the future, there is still some purpose tucked away in the folds of this life. Though hard to see through the hurt of what is in plain sight, we must be interested, informed, and remember to notice the sub-surface as well. I have a bit of cloudy hope that the world will be looking to artists and designers to be bold and inspire something new as we gain focus again. And we better be ready.

As we continue to save lives by staying still, I am encouraged by the way the arts community is banding together. Whether through Instagram challenges, Zoom choirs, or informational webinars, the silver lining is the attempt to still spread inspiration under new terms. To take advantage of this time—whether sitting in solitude, stabilizing change within, or absorbing moments—has a special meaning. Each day I continue to find safety in the things that have always provided protection. Holding on to this is what I’m most excited for. The subliminal biomimicry of life can provide the opportunity to emerge out of this quarantine cocoon with a stronger foundation than before. I hope you emerge with me.

This blog is part of a series of reflections on the COVID-19 health crisis by Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship 2019 cohort.