Life According to a Cloud

Tonight is one of our chilliest nights of the season, and it’s nothing short of delightful.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland has “clouds” that have fascinated me through the years. They’re a crisp white against inky bluish-black surroundings, and on nights like tonight, it’s as though those clouds have made their way out of the ride and into real life.

They seem rather low. Their whispy tufts are illuminated by the city lights, and they move fast across the sky; every so often, they give way to a sparkling group of stars, then the clouds gather again.

It made me think about the advice a cloud would give if it was able. Here’s what I’m guessing it would say:

1) Look around. Nobody has the perspective you do. Look side to side, look down, and look up. Enjoy the view.

2) Express yourself when you need to. Cry. Get big and rise up in the face of whatever, whenever. Throw a lightning bolt here and there, glow, share a silver lining with someone or disappear in the blink of an eye. Do what you need to do.

3) Whenever possible, allow people to see beauty. If it’s the blue sky they love, show it. If it’s the stars, reveal them. If it’s a sunset, try to adapt to the colors. Step aside when the moment calls for it.

4) Turbulence will inevitably come into your life, and you may get tossed about. You may become dark, moody, ominous — and that’s fine. Just spare people the tornadic activity, and stick to being a plain ol’ cloud. They’ll thank you.

5) Remember to have fun. When people look at you and think they see one thing, morph. Change it up. Some people see more than just a cloud — they see duck heads, rabbits and celebrities in the white, puffy shapes. What do they see when they look at you? Add whimsy wherever possible.

6) Plan all you want, but sometimes it’s simply about where the wind takes you.

There are lessons in most things, but without a voice we need to actively seek them and not wait for them to come to us. Tonight I am thankful for clouds — delicate ones, looming clouds full of fury and every cloud in between. I am thankful for the reminders contained within them, for their beauty and for their simple presence often overlooked as we try to do more, feel more, think more and say more — instead of just trying to “be.”

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