Sunday, September 17, 2017

As Clouds Go By

I have become something of a cloud watcher over the last few years. Now that I have a big window with a fabulous view that takes in vast amounts of sky, I find myself being distracted from my writing by the performance that is going on above me. Admittedly, a crystal clear blue sky is surely a thing to behold, but I much prefer watching the personalities of the different kinds of clouds that float by. Each cloud elicits a different reaction from me as if it is trying to convey some special message that is only for me.

There are big, fat, fluffy clouds, the kind that are playful and that make up all those shapes we imagine we see hidden within them. They remind me of a pile of pillows just waiting for some puppies to romp among them. Then there are the thin, wispy clouds, the ones that float by carelessly as if their sole purpose was simply to break up all that blue sky and add a little depth to it. Big, fat, bands of clouds remind me of celestial islands floating above. I like to think it's where the angels live in their billowy homes.

Then there are the blankets of  ominous clouds, the ones with the dark under-bellies bringing with them feelings of foreboding, of storms ahead. They both fascinate and frighten me sometimes. On the one hand, I do not want to know what bad news they are bringing as they make their way across the sky. On the other hand, I know that they are, indeed, just clouds passing by and will take whatever storm they are carrying with them when they go.

I grew up with an obsessive fear of heights as a child. I do not know its origins. My mother was fearful of so many things and it is quite possible I got that fear from her. It wasn't until I was in my 50's that I got on my first plane and rose above the clouds. Filled with both fear and exhilaration, I knew for the first time what eagles must feel like to soar above the clouds, playing a game of hide and seek with them. How wonderful it must be to be able to soar like that every day!

Life, like that blank, blue sky, brings with it many different experiences and not all of them are happy ones. Sometimes life is playful and happy, sometimes innocently searching for something to give it depth and meaning, and, more often than we'd like, can also be dark and scary. We just need to realize that, like the clouds, these experiences will pass and, like the eagles, we have the ability to soar above them to bask in the warmth and glow of the sun on the other side. All we have to do is aim ourselves in the right direction, spread our wings, and fly.

Excuse me, but I have to go now. I think I just saw the angels float by.

And so it is.