When life is cloudy, remember to look for the rainbows

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Photo by Alyssa Herrera, The College of New Jersey Bonner Community Scholar and this year's historian.

The year began with the solar eclipse. The first day of programming for the academic year and a student leadership program  I direct was on the day of the solar eclipse. It seems like a lifetime ago, yet it was only August. The eclipse was visible despite of the clouds.

It’s been challenging, and when I think of the challenges, I think of the video by Maya Angelou. Maya provides me much company when I am reflective. I love her words, they are soothing to my soul.

She explains in the video “There is an African-American song, (from the) 19th century, which is so great. It says, “When it look like the sun weren’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.”

She goes on to say,

“I had a lot of clouds. But I have had so many rainbows.”

That has been my year so far, as I am sure for many. The challenges felt like heavy clouds. Yet, when I reflect, I can see so many rainbows. People who have been with me to the stage, when I needed to show up. People who held space for me when I was reflective.

As I head into the holiday of thanks-giving, not the one marked by our history of colonization, but the one that I define as a day of thanks-giving, I am grateful. This is the feeling I have been mindfully cultivating the entire month of November. To be in a thankful space allows me to see the rainbows. It also allows me to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

Maya continues, “And the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.”

May you enjoy your day of giving thanks and may you cultivate gratefulness in your life.  The sun is shining behind the clouds and make sure to reflect on the rainbows in your life.

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