McGregor Says: Looking past the smoke

As we get a bit older and wiser we are not surprised when, once in a while, a silver lining has a dark cloud attached. For example, the day after the weatherman told us we could possibly have a month or more with no rain in sight, the smoke from the forest fires socked in the Lower Mainland.

Any thoughts we had about outdoor activities were chased indoors by warnings of poor air quality. Some folks took the red sunrises and sunsets as fulfilling prophecies of the impending apocalypse but our seldom wrong friend, the meteorologist, tells us that the dramatic displays are caused by microscopic particles in the haze have a red and brown hue, which help create stunning solar events.

If nothing else, it has got a lot of photographers out of bed earlier than usual to try and capture the phenomenon, but no matter how many times they show different images on the news, it is still the same sun straining to be seen, so we know it’s trying to do its job.

I think nature knows that unless we can actually see something, we can be hard to convince that it’s actually there.

But the situation can be used to our advantage if we’re smart. For instance, “Honey I have to get some groceries and run some errands. Are you coming with me?”

“Gee, dear, I was outside this morning and I have sore eyes and a scratchy throat.

I don’t want to risk a cardiac event pushing a heavy cart across the hot blacktop, so I think I’ll stay cool inside and watch the Blue Jays game.”

For myself, the haze was the reason for a poor golf score. Straining to see that flag on the green 300 yards away is tough and if you can’t see exactly where you are driving, it can cost a couple of extra shots per hole.

Most of all, the smoke is a great reason to just take it easy. I recall a conversation with a wise man where I was talking about being busy. He said, “Do you remember that nursery rhyme, Row, row, row your boat? There is great advice in that little tune. It tells us to ‘row gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily.”

“It doesn’t say to put your boat in the water in the morning and paddle frantically against the current all day, it says to row gently and go with the flow.”

I think there is always some sort of haze on our journey.

We tend to strain to see far ahead to see if we can see through the smog that obscures our future.

What lies ahead, what’s just around the next bend, are we going in the right direction?

I think the trick is to row gently, navigate the rough water, and have faith that the sunshine will be there when we arrive.

After all, maybe life is but a dream.

At least that’s what McGregor says.