Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Weekend: Clouds

Previously: Weeds, Scent, Muffins, Houses

A certain day of the week, I wake up before dawn with a mission. I rise nearly every morning around the same time, but with this day comes an added responsibility that I undertake with the utmost seriousness. I stumble around in the quiet and dark to find my sweatshirt and footwear, grab my keys and wallet, and head off to pick up donuts for the family.

I have a 98% success rate getting out of the house before anyone else wakes up. That other 2% is thwarted by my daughter, who apparently inherited my morning-riser tendencies. What's more, she knows what I'm about to do and has begun insisting that she ride along.

One morning where she caught me about to make my run, I secured her into her seat and we began our joint trek by the glow of the car's headlights.

"The clouds are so beautiful," the declaration came from the backseat, interrupting my pre-coffee reverie. I leaned forward to see the moon's light muted behind a misty curtain. I had to agree that the sight was charming, light peeking through before the sunrise. I heard how beautiful it was all the way to our destination, and all the way back, with breaks in between for a bite of chocolate donut before it resumed. Other than enjoying her special morning treat, it was the only view worth seeing and the only observation worth making.

This season comes with clouds. We search for light, but sometimes the fog is too thick to find it. Our grief or stress or fatigue billows into our eyes, and driving through all the traditions numb on autopilot is the best survival tactic.

When all seems lost, an angel appears unexpected and startling. Her voice pokes through just enough: look at the light. You might not always notice it, but it is for you and with you. And in that one moment when you can see it, even the clouds can become beautiful.

Image via Freefoto.