woman standing in body of water

The Girl Who Was Like Sunshine

She was a glimpse of sunshine peeking behind the clouds on a cool fall day, not enough to create lasting heat, but enough to make you smile and pause as the warmth spread across your face. People knew she was not brave enough to stay, so they cherished the times she would appear with the whispering winds. She didn’t believe she was worthy of staying, didn’t think she had a place in this world. No one needed her, she thought, no one could want her that long. She bounced around from behind the clouds, long enough to be appreciated but not so long as to overstay her welcome. That could be enough for her, she thought.

He was captivated by her light, like a moth and a dancing flame in the darkness of a quiet night. He knew she was fearful, so he approached her slowly and cautiously so as to not scare her away. Part of him knew the fierce sunlight could scorch his skin, but the other part of him longed so greatly for the sunshine that he didn’t care. He wanted her to stay, despite the risk of being burned, and even more, he wanted her to want to stay, for once in her life, to continue to shine instead of letting her fears douse her light.

She caught herself smiling in the sky, light as the clouds she once timidly hid behind. Her brightness flooded into every corner of his life, illuminating pieces of him that had never seen the light of day. She brought him sunshine, but it was him that made her feel seen, shedding light to parts of her that she had never been brave enough to expose to herself, let alone to another. She felt understood. She felt wanted. She felt like her rays had a place in this world and that she could be bold enough to take up that space. For the first time in her life, she felt worthy, a thought that both terrified and excited her.

Even at sunset, she felt free and accepted. As her yellows morphed into the bold oranges and dark reds that promised the momentary ending of the light, she had no fear. He had taken that burden from her, and she felt limitless as she blended the colors of the evening sky and kissed the green horizon of the forest floor goodnight. Endings no longer scared her, for she was grounded in the promise of a new day, with him. That’s how she felt with him: grounded. It both invigorated her and confused her, how a ray of sunshine in the sky could feel so at peace.

There would always be that lingering fear of what if. What if the light runs out? What if the sun left both of them burnt? What if the light is too much for the both of them? What happens when he no longer craves the sunshine, but retreats back into the safety of the darkness? But those eyes, green like the dewy grasses that the sunrise illuminated during the waking hours of a new day, whispered to her sweet promises of the present moment. That’s what she would hold onto. The present moment. The present moment in his warm and strong embrace was the only promise she needed. Her light could shine in the present so long as she grounded herself in that, in him, and both of them could shine in their own ways together. Maybe they would get burned. Maybe the light would run out. But maybe, just maybe, the light of the present moment was enough to save them both.

About the author
I am a bikini competitor, baker, word lover, & personal trainer. Follow Jennifer on Instagram or read more articles from Jennifer on Thought Catalog.

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