I feel like a cloud stretched thin, strands of cotton candy pulled across an azure sky. Acquaintances interpret the shapes I’ve been stretched into, their own ink-blot testing. Some of the assessments are kind, taking into account the challenges of motherhood and personal life; others deal harshly in whispers heard from miles away.
I listen and try to recompose myself into an acceptable shape.
Clouds develop by gathering water in the right atmospheric conditions, whereas people amass formative experiences. Rest allows the brain to put everything in its proper place, to reformat. Life has been so hectic of late that what little down-time I experience provides inadequate rest. Unpleasant dreams jolt me awake to lie shaking and filled with worry. My composition is scattered, tumultuous, and confused.
I know to find comfort in Faith. Not once does God tell his children to stress or worry. Instead, He advises singing praises until dark times pass. It helps a little, but sometimes my feet stumble instead of dance. My tongue stutters, caught in beloved hymn’s rhyme. My heart doubts when it should trust. I have faith in God, just not always in myself.
I remember care-free afternoons, stretched across sun-warmed grass, watching the progression of cumulus wonders, stratus flying by with the impatience of adulthood. I enjoyed interpreting the shapes. I’d make up stories about their progress, peopling them with imagination and wonder. When the weather warms and I find time on my days off, I’ll spread a blanket in our back yard and revisit those lazy days with my children. We can bask in the wonder of Creation, and find comfort in the stolen moments.
Balancing work, parenting, marriage, and extended family define living. Everyone participates in this, juggling commitments, obligations, and goals. I look into faces harried with care, unease lending a shiftless quality to their stances and opinions. I recognize signs of kindred souls tugged out of their regular shapes. I try to hug them back into themselves, to wrap my heart around theirs, and share a moment of reconstruction. Thereby I hope to ameliorate their suffering and hence my own. If I can help others coalesce and gather my own wispy bits, we can all soar across life’s sapphire expanses, troops of beautiful clouds unhindered by doubts and unconcerned by the interpretation of others.
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