What is it about a Sunday that makes it so different from the other six days? My Catholic roots have taught me its a day of worship and rest from work, but most people work and play without regard to the Sabbath, so that’s not the reason. We can shop, dine out, be entertained, mow our lawns or do anything we do the other six days a week. Still, there’s a difference, even for those of us who are not getting a day off from 9 to 5 schedules all week.
The Sunday newspaper is always bigger, meant to be lingered over. Sunday breakfasts are usually of the bacon and eggs, hearty kind and we’ve all heard about Sunday drivers rubbernecking their way through the countryside. Is it just that, no matter what we try to do to speed it up, Sunday is just a slower day? There’s something about Sunday that begs you to stop and savor simple pleasures like family or a good book. It gives us license to get off life’s superway for a brief respite.
For those who begin the day at church, it could be argued that they leave renewed, refreshed and with a new perspective. It would be nice to believe that life did slow down to honor the Lord’s day, but there’s something else in Sunday that transcends the religious significance. Do we pack our chores and fun into Saturday because it’s the last day of the week on our calendars, so we can start the week anew on Sunday? Is it the beginning of the week…or is it the end of a busy weekend?
Sunday has always been family day. It’s the time for slow Sunday dinners of fried chicken and apple pie and gathering the clan. There is always a special place in memories of the good old days, for those family style Sundays and trips to Grandma’s. With all its warm and fuzzy connotations, Sunday also has its empty side. Even the most glorious, sunny, summer Sundays can be tinged with melancholy. Kris Kristofferson is one of my favorite songwriters and he penned the song “Sunday Morning Coming Down (made famous by Johnny Cash). Part of it says ” ‘Cos there’s something in a Sunday, Makes a body feel alone. And there’s nothin’ short of dyin’, Half as lonesome as the sound, On the sleepin’ city sidewalks: Sunday mornin’ comin’ down.” Maybe that Sunday feeling is one of loneliness, of aching for what Sunday’s should be. Add some rain and it makes it all the more poignant for those who watch life from their own little windows. Throw in a recent full moon and it could get downright maudlin for some.
This Sunday has a lonely, mournful feel. Perhaps it will vanish when the sun chases away the rain and I’ll wonder what there was to brood about. It’s times like this I think about all the soldiers who are missing family days. I think about the elderly whose families are long gone or far away. I think about the orphans of the world who know nothing about being part of a loving family. It is, after all, a reason to be sad. It is an even bigger reason to savor the moments we do have with loved ones, to make and cherish memories of times together. It’s those happy times and memories that will get you through the rainy days and Sundays in your life.