The past couple of mornings have been CSS in Tampa Bay, or at least as close as makes no difference. As, I have mentioned before, CSS mornings tend to produce very similar stories to begin the day with, barring of course serious differences in temperatures or humidity.

So, when I had the kitties all fed and tended to and it was only 5:30, I was faced with that same choice of lazily sitting in front of my PC over cereal and coffee, or gather myself and head somewhere to watch what twilight might bring.

I chose the latter obviously and coffee by my side, I headed off in the darkness to the shores of Lake Parker.

Yesterday when I did this, I was running against the clock wondering if I would make it before the skies tumbled into daylight. But this morning, I was early and the drive was definitely more leisurely and stress-free.

A black-coffee morning is a wonderful way to boost your system and my system was fully online as I pulled in by where the boat launch pier is on the northern shores.

What do you mean “what is CSS?” … I told you a few blogs ago “Clear Skies Sunrise”. Don’t ask again.

Anyway, the skies were definitely clear yesterday and today’s tiny band of cloud on the southern part of the horizon weren’t enough to make a difference.

I have uploaded ten images at the end of the blog … the first five from yesterday and the second five from today. And you would be hard pushed to tell that they weren’t all taken on the same morning.

But yesterday was from half way down the lake shore while today was at the boat launch pier.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them. There is a very soft beauty that treats the eyes when you stare off into a CSS. Particularly at twilight. The night sky hasn’t yet yielded the heavens and so the level of blue is extraordinarily pleasing.

While I was driving there this morning, with time very much on my side, the first traffic light was a short red and the others were solid greens. I remembered thinking as I drove through the last one how the world felt good and life felt balanced. It is amazing what a green light will do for the psyche.

And as I stood there sipping my coffee and casually taking a few pics, I was soothed from recent trials and tribulations and my prior moans had mostly melted away.

So, by the time I was driving home I let my mind wander onto the importance of balance in our lives.

I don’t live in a world where my family and friends experience a wonderful life where everything goes right. So the imbalance that most of us feel leans towards the negative.

I am sure someone out there is probably experiencing a life of no complaints, but that doesn’t really happen in my circle.

Most of us struggle and only get relief when something breaks in our favor. A green light that lets us know that life isn’t all bad. That it isn’t all a struggle.

And if you are like me, you ride through those green lights with a smile on your face and a softer breath.

When something good happens, life leans back towards a balance. Something that we might consider more fair than the life we are dealt.

If you are very heavily beaten by life, even the hint of a green light will bring a smile to your face.

I remember the old story of the two donkeys that meet up in the street, having pulled their carts to a rest. And one turns to the other and asks how things are. “Quite good, actually”, the second donkey replies and the first one looks aghast. “But how can you you say that? Your master beats you every day and makes you pull this heavy cart up the hill.”

“Ah, yes, but he didn’t beat me today” replies the second.

Sometimes, a green light is all we need to help restore a little balance and it is important to recognize it when it happens.

It is easy to focus on the negative things that befall us and to moan our way from birth to death. And while occasionally we are right to moan, it shouldn’t become our standard.

Moans can bring relief and attract some sympathy and sometimes sympathy has a soothing effect to our souls.

But life needs to be more than sympathy. It needs to be about a positive. A positive something. Doesn’t matter what that thing is … just as long as it is positive.

I remember once when I believed in total balance. Where I genuinely thought that all things balance out in the end. I remember thinking that whatever ills befell us would in turn be followed by joys that made up for them.

But I no longer believe in the great balancing act of life. There are people who are born with silver spoons in their mouth, live a life of luxury, and die in a soft morphine-induced slumber. Then there are others who struggle against the cruelties of their poverty from the moment they are born until they eventually fall over beaten and bruised and close their eyes in pain for a final time.

So, absolute balance is a myth.

But things that happen to us that work to provide some degree of balance should be cherished. If we don’t recognize them as such, then we allow life to beat us without respite. Even though the respite was there … we just didn’t acknowledge it.

“Thank god that is over” should not be our final thought as we close our eyes and drift off to darkness.

But rather we should be able to smile at the good moments and recall the good parts of the journey. The green lights that waved us on and moved us forward on our journey.

Our journey should be a collection of our loves, our joys, our wins. These work to form the tapestry of a colorful life that tells the story of someone who lived it.

Moans and complaints are black and grey. They add no color and will not form a part of the reason you lived.

When you are gone, people should not be remembering you as the person that broke his wrist, lost his love, and lived under a dark cloud.

You should want to be remembered as the person that always had a smile on his face, a word of encouragement for those that needed it, and a positive perspective that shone a green light into the lives of those you loved.

… just a thought.