I stood on my lawn and gazed skyward at the clouds. Each unique visible vapor in deepening tones marched silently past as if on a secret mission. Looking up from the earth we can only see the underside of clouds. In hues of blue-gray, they can feather across the expanse or gather in tremendously large shapes of various forms.

As a child, I once read a book about the power of one’s mind. One of the suggested exercises was to lay outside on one’s back, stare at the clouds and to try to mentally dissolve the clouds. I spent a good portion of that day staring upward without success; although one cloud did seem to split in the center as it floated past. Reluctantly, I decided that I had no super powers. I closed the book beside me and went indoors to console myself with cookies.

From a spatial vantage point we can looking down upon clouds. The wavy puffs of white, much like large cotton haystacks, endlessly fill the horizon. It’s as if earth itself has undergone a metamorphosis and the colorful world we know has been cleansed and awaits a painter’s touch.

But when traveling through a cloud there’s no opportunity to see anything. The window to the world is completely obscured in a bland oneness. It is at times like this that I long for a chance to look ahead, to look back, or to glimpse anything with variety.

On my last flight, the pilot warned of the turbulent weather we’d encounter. When the jet flew through the rain cloud the windows were pelted by the storm, the wind pushed and jerked our craft. The nose of the plane was aimed up, up into the rage surrounding us. Thoughts of the brevity of life passed through my head. I mentally sang a song of reassurance and I prayed. There was no panic, but the evening flight was eerily silent. I watched the lights on the wing disappear from view as the seat that held me shook. Long, long moments later the plane pierced the veil and a pocket of sky appeared, comforting my challenged spirit.

I was grateful that clouds have a top and a bottom. They are not endless even in the midst of a storm. Off in the distance I could see the red tint of the sun on the horizon faithfully setting between the clouds. Although earth-bound beings would not see it, my camera caught the promise of the day’s end.

My challenging flight reaped a wonderous insight. As I journey though this day’s challenges I am learning, like the pilot, to aim upward no matter my view. I am reassured that storms do   eventually end, and like the sunset hidden above my view, there is a promise of tomorrow. I move forward in hope, trusting in the lesson of the clouds.

Be encouraged.                                                                                                                                                           Blessings my friends.

Breaking through the storm clouds.                                        The hidden sunset above the storm.






Rainy day regroup

The sky is gray and heavy. As the storm presses in I set my distractions aside, and find a good window to watch the incoming deluge. I absorb the smells from an open window. The sound of the leaves sighing in refreshment stirs my memories.

My mind wanders back to my childhood when this exact scenario played out. At that time I was frustrated, angry that my plans to build a fort, or climb some imaginary mountain; soaring high with my conjured up wings to a place of untold adventure had been foiled by this dreadful set-back.

Today, I may be discouraged  that my plans for the  sunny day I had envisioned will not transpire as I had hoped, but I take heart as I have learned much from my childhood rainy days. This day, I push aside the week of concerns that had gathered. I allow myself the freedom just to be; to sit and ponder the birds, the squirrels, the beauty in the storm. And after some time I find myself refreshed, better able to conquer those challenges, and face those imaginary giants of my week past. The funny thing is that they don’t seem so large and looming now. The rain has refreshed my spirit and I feel stronger.

Perhaps the hidden purpose of a storm is that it provides a place of respite from our troubles. It may sound counter intuitive, but resting as the battle rages around us affords us time to stop worrying. We can just slow down and enjoy the beauty surrounding us.

That’s my encouragement today, my friend. I have a pretty picture that reminds us that all storms do indeed end, and there is sunshine ahead.

Sending you a blessing in the midst of your storm.                                                                                              Debbie

A Small Ceramic Horse

It is so small, a remnant from my childhood. Just a little ceramic horse with a lingering star sticker on its saddle that I placed there the day I claimed ownership. It probably was a yard sale purchase or something my grandmother no longer wanted, but somehow it became mine, and oh the magic it contains.

Holding the sleepy, cold porcelain  pony transports me back to a place of innocence. A land where I felt safe, care-free and loved. A world where tragedy and disaster rarely entered; play was expected  and where four kids in empty field often morphed into a kickball game. The outdoors was my playground and the setting sun was my clock.

Many days the morning dew would wet my bare feet as I chased butterflies  across the lawn. Green grass clippings, which I imagined heaven smelled like, stuck to my skin. Dangling yo-yos, balancing hula hoops, jumping rope, picking up jacks, flying kites, and shooting marbles were all courses of our summer feast. Sunscreen was rare, and dark summer tans with sun-bleached hair came naturally. You’d find me sitting on concrete steps mimicking the birds in trees or the watching the clouds float across the sky while thinking  deep thoughts like, ‘If I run fast enough can I fly?’

In this realm a neighbor’s pool or simply finding a swimming hole meant an afternoon of screaming fun. Picnics, long walks, and laying on my back at night staring at the stars filled my imagination with fresh dreams. A filthy bathtub ring was my badge of a day well-spent.

In the spring I’d watch my brother pull fat frogs from the ditch or scoop polliwogs into a kitchen pan to see if they had legs. A measure of string on a broken tree branch with a hand-tied hook made us grand fishermen in our eyes; and the occasional use of an actual fishing pole with worms- wow, that was the ultimate outing! Not that I ever caught much, although I do recall a very heavy catch that turned out to be a whopper of a boot. This was sadly followed by reeling in a small turtle. I felt pretty bad about the little guy and  fishing lost much of its appeal for me after that.

Making up stories, singing to record albums, putting on our own theater show, and riding my bike as far as I wanted to go-  these were all entertainment for those long days of summer.

These recollections are my ‘days of yore.’ The era before adulthood emerged seasoned with pain and hardship, crowding out  the days of ease. I can get lost in these thoughts. I am so thankful that I was blessed with such a childhood, and grateful that  a hand-sized relic can bring me such wonderful memories of lazy summer days.

How about you? Do you have something special that transports you back to favorite memory?