"What a beautiful day," he said smiling.
I looked over his shoulder, trying to understand precisely what about the grey, overcast skies, he found beautiful. The trees are past peak, barren sentries, standing tall on the far end of the icy lake. The white clouds hang low in the sky, turning the lake, the trees, even the cottages on the lake a greenish grey. The depressing pall over the lake is anything but pretty.
"Look at that lake - at the skies - at the trees, isn't it gorgeous?: He persisted.
My iconoclastic New York pragmatism took over. "No, actually, it's overcast, gloomy and cold," I responded. I took another look to confirm my first impression. "Are we looking at the same lake?"
He shook his head. "If you're going to get along in Michigan, you're going to have to learn to appreciate days like today," he warned me. "This is a perfectly wonderful day - warm enough to take a nice long walk outside. There's no rain or snow. It's beautiful."
Even though it's puzzling - and sometimes (to be perfectly honest) kind of maddening, I really appreciate the fact that my husband can look at a bleak, gloomy day and see beauty. While a part of me feels like shaking him and saying - what's WRONG with you? Can't you see how ugly it is? Another part of me, the innocent beauty-seeking part of my soul doesn't want to destroy his perception. In fact, that part of me wants to laud his ability to see the beauty in grey--because it is truly a gift. How lucky he is to be able to look past the same thick white clouds that I find oppressive and see beauty, to know that somewhere above the cloud cover the sun is still shining - and to appreciate what we've been given today. Sure, my perception may be more "real" - at least according to The Weather Channel, but what my husband engenders is the true essence of gratitude. His reality is a much better reality than mine and it makes me sad to realize that I've got a long way to go to be able to develop that kind of appreciation. It leaves me with yet one more thing to aspire to: finding the beauty in grey.