Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Today and tomorrow mark the new month of Cheshvan. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook (1865-1935), the first Ashkenazic chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, specified a "key thought" for every month. Regarding the month of Cheshvan, he wrote as follows:
"When the soul is aglow, even gloomy skies shine with a pleasant light."
This thought was appropriately written for the month of Cheshvan -- that is, for the beginning of winter. Suddenly after Tishrei, a month without any holidays arrives. This is a time when skies become greyer and the rains begin. It's a month that may bring with it a little sadness, considering the long and grey routine that lies ahead. But if within us the soul is aglow, writes Rabbi Kook, the outside gloom will disappear.
He teaches us that we do not need to look outside in order to decide how to feel inside. We are meant to experience joy within ourselves. If we look at reality with a happy, shiny disposition, reality will shine back on us in return.
Have a good, blessed, and shiny month.