Slices of Life: What is your default?

In our preoccupation with the clouds, we forget one critical factor. We forget the default.

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler

Quite often, each morning before getting dressed I check my weather app to get the prediction for the upcoming day. Yesterday I caught myself hoping the sun would be shining and the skies blue.

Then it dawned on me. There wasn’t a question whether the sun would be shining. Likewise for the blueness of the skies. Both were an undeniable “yes.”

In that moment, I realized something obvious and important: the sun always shines. The sky is always blue. Every day, without a doubt, 365 days a year. Each day of my life – since the beginning of Mother Earth actually – the sun has shone and the skies have been blue. They don’t change. They haven’t changed. Not ever. They are steadfast and true. I guarantee it. The universe guarantees it.

Thing is, though, I haven’t always looked up to blue skies and sunshine, even though they were both there.

I’m guessing you might feel the same way.



Here’s the truth that’s been right in front of our eyes the whole time: the sun and the sky don’t change.
Our perception does. Our awareness does.

The sky is the sky. The sun is the sun. There is no changing either one of them. When we look up, they are the default. Thing is, sometimes clouds get in the way, or at least we allow clouds to get in the way.

I look up at the sky and see clouds and think the sun and the blue sky have disappeared, but they haven’t. They are still there, in the same spot they were a day ago, 100 years ago and a millennium ago.

I deem them gone because of the clouds, but the clouds aren’t real. They are but vapors. If I reached my hand out it would go right through the clouds. They block my view, but they provide no physical barrier. In that regard, they are an illusion.

Yet I look up and believe the sun and the blue sky are gone. I am unaware of the default. I forget it.

How about that as a metaphor for life?

Life is filled with obstacles. With worries. With car repairs and mortgage payments (if we are lucky). It’s easy to see the clouds because they are ominous. They are lurking. They threaten lightning and thunder. They want to rain on our parade.


And, in our preoccupation with the clouds, we forget one critical factor. We forget the default.

If sunshine and blue skies are the default for Mother Earth, why wouldn’t that be the same every day in all of our lives? What if goodness, not hardship, is the default? What if our own hardships, however difficult they seem, are nothing more than clouds — immaterial, insubstantial experiences in our lives set there to challenge us and make us better? What if we could blow them away with a breath of wind, or simply a breath?

I don’t mean to make light of anyone’s life hardships. I’m living my own out right now and trying desperately to find my own blue sky, but it is there. Even on the bleakest, darkest, cloudiest days the sun is shining behind the clouds. The sky is blue.

Sometimes I just can’t see it.

But it is the default.

I believe the same can be said for this big blue planet we live on. Goodness, peace, compassion and serenity are the defaults. It doesn’t seem that way sometimes, especially right now, but goodness exists. It may be in the background, but it hasn’t left us. It hasn’t disappeared. It is the default, no matter how many clouds darken the sky.

Infinite and unconditional love, peace and harmony are still here. Unyielding. Unchanged.

The default is waiting for us to see beyond the clouds. Waiting for us to see what really is. Waiting for us to see the infinite reservoir of goodness that is ours for the taking. Go ahead, dig in. Ladle yourself a healthy helping.


Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

Related Topics: FAMILY
What To Read Next
"If we are unwilling to admit that the racism exists in our power structures, people of color will continue to pay a deadly price."
"Life is short, ends in a moment, and we don’t think much about it some days. ... It’s a scenic highway, and we should keep it that way, go a bit slower, and enjoy life."
"Church worship now competes with everything from professional sports to kids activities to household chores. ... we can either have a frank conversation about what church can be, or we can continue to watch the pews empty in cherished houses of worship across the country."
"In the end, legislators are confronted with twin tasks: discerning and then pursuing the common good, and finding enough common ground with colleagues and the public at large to make progress possible," writes Lee Hamilton.