Driving out to the lake yesterday morning, I was struck with the beauty of the clouds, encompassing one-half of my visual space of land and sky. Clouds define the weather, our activities and outlook and even our moods. Brides pray for a sunshine filled day with little or no cloud cover. Farmers pray for rain and cloudy skies through times of drought. Most pray for rainy days and cloudy skies during the work week leaving weekends with the hope of sunshine filled activities. Cloudy days in winter are pretty much a guarantee of snow, happiness for snowmobilers, skiers, sledders and snow-shoers. And especially for children (and adults too) creating snow-people of all shapes and sizes. Snow, for those with no heat or shelter, devastating. Children lying in the grass giggling at all the funny faces and animals in the clouds, innocent beauty. And yet, they are clouds.
For sometime now, I have pondered the scientific fact that the earth contains the same amount of water upon it as it had at the beginning of time. In fact it is the same water, no more, no less that we drink today. The only difference is the clarity or amount of pollution. Sure, we have technology that has cleaned, purified and diverted water into our homes but, sadly even today, many parts of the world do not have the luxury of clean drinking water. I am no expert on the plight of the world’s water situation but, I do know the problems are vast and effect every person on this earth in some way. Each one of us called to be stewards of our water and our impact on the environment.
Clouds therefore are a necessary component to our existence. There are high clouds like Cirrus, Cirrostratus and Cirrocumulus that cross our skies but hardly diminish its brightness. The mid-clouds, of which there are also three types often cause light precipitation. The low-clouds, Cumulus, Stratus, Cumulonimbus and Stratocumulus, can produce grey skies, rain, hail and tornadoes. It seems the heavier and dense the cloud formation, the heavier and dense the resulting rain and storms. And so I draw the comparison between cloud and soul. The heavier and dense the soul the greater the storm, experienced inside, outside, creating chaos just as the tornado, whipped up in absolute frenzy, capable of destroying everything in its path.
As souls inhabiting this earth space, we all crave the sunshine and warmth of carefree days, as sunshine energizes us with vital life force. This energy is stored in every cell of our bodies, in every space and place. It is the energy that makes us smile, grows kindness and compassion, loving and giving, laughter and joy. Souls filled with sunshine and cloud free skies sing, carefree. They worry less, love more. They greet the days of rain with joy and thanksgiving always hopeful tomorrow will bring another sun filled day. For some, their souls are filled with the heavy clouds of storms and turmoil. Their clouds have been gathering like the coming storms for some time. Rotating and gathering strength, clearing everything in its path as the tornadoes of doom and destruction. Their sunny days are not all clear skies, catching only brief glimpses of sun among the clouds. Often their only relief comes after the storm where for a brief time the air is refreshed and a false sense of newness overtakes the air. And then, the skies begin to cloud over and a new storm begins to take shape and strength.
Just as we all are drinking and using the same water which has been here for eons, all souls share the same sunshine and storms. Perhaps on different days or months of the year but, they are the same nonetheless. It is only the intensity which fluctuates. Sunshine replenishes our energy and life force, storms have the power to cause devastation. Every one of us can relate to how we feel during endless cloudy, rainy days. In this respect we are all the same. How then can we ease the storms of the souls of so many and share our sunshine, if only briefly. Just as we see faces in the clouds, see the faces of the people you meet daily. Can you recognize the cloud hanging over their head? Do you see the storm in their heart? Do you continue to walk on by or do you offer an umbrella with no expectation of having it returned to you? Is that tear in their eye worth your recognition or attention. I believe like water our tears are shared, happy, sad, heavy, light, saline, freshwater, tissued or free-flowing. Expelled from white, brown, black or furry eyes, tears are colorless. They contain the water of our souls filled with the lightness or heaviness of the clouds in the sky we all live under.
Somehow knowing that all souls experience stormy skies at times in our life makes us more alike than different. For some the heaviness of the clouds can last for days, months and yes, even years. For others, generations. How can we be helpful? We can send them sunshine with our prayers and thoughts and through our good intentions. Starting today, be someone’s sunshine in a life covered by stormy clouds. The sunshine energy of your soul CAN make a difference. Share your cloudy day stories. Share your umbrella. Take off your shoes and walk together through the puddles of life. For it is there that we discover the child within. Take shelter from the storms of life by holding the hand of someone who loves you. And when your skies clear, if only briefly, so that you are able to feel the warmth of the sun, raise your head, heart and soul and give thanks. The hope of brighter days lay ahead.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.