I moved to the desert in the middle of summer—a summer of record-setting heat. But the heat wasn’t the problem. The problem was the lack of clouds. For days on end the sky was empty. An occasional jet contrail sent my hopes rocketing only to dissipate before my eyes.
I didn’t realize I would miss the moisture condensing above me . . . until my eyes drifted skyward and were met by blank, blue nothingness.
Water mattered to me. Before I moved, the ocean had been my haven. It reminded me how small I am; how great God is. The ocean’s roar drowned out my insecurities. I knew that. I knew I went to the coast to find my bearings, to plot my point on the edge of mystery.
What I didn’t know is how the clouds grounded me. I didn’t realize how often I looked up—how I depended on the beauty and wonder above me. I had no idea how the cirrus, the cumulus, the chaos in the troposphere settled my soul.
I didn’t know until the artist’s brush was stilled and the canvas stood dry and untouched. Stress and anxiety churned in the void.
When the heat abated and the season eased from summer to fall, clouds returned. I don’t remember the first cloud. I don’t recall the date or what I was wearing. But I do recall the flash flood of awareness it triggered. I do remember the feelings of place and belonging and home—feelings I hadn’t had in the cloudlessness.
The years in the desert taught me to hold onto hope, to remember today’s lack does not dictate tomorrow’s reality, and to give thanks for blessings in all their forms. Slowing to watch the clouds does not affect their trajectory, but it does affect mine.
God has given you an amazing talent with your ability to put on paper some profound thoughts and musings. I get too many emails each day, but the email “Looking Through Me” always makes me pause, read what you have shared, and take a small respite in my busy day. Keep on blogging! When you write your first book, I will be first in line to buy it.
Oh, thank you, Denise! It’s beyond encouraging to hear I can help carve out moments of respite in busy days. So humbling! If there’s ever a book, I promise you’ll know 🙂
The ocean has always been a place of awe and perspective for both of us. I confess that until you moved to a part of the country with an often cloudless sky, I had taken the marvels of the sky for granted. Thank you for helping me become so much more aware of God’s grandeur there, as well!
I was unaware too — I still remember being astounded that days and weeks could go by without clouds. But I’m so grateful for how many moments of wonder I get now that I don’t take clouds (and the sky in general) for granted.
Thank you, Kristen, for giving me another cause to pause and appreciate the blessings that surround me. I have to agree with Denise. While scrolling through 51 emails tonight (and deleting most), yours is the one I open and read. It always motivates me to be still and know that He is God. Keep using this wonderful talent that God has given you.
I’m honored I made the email cut, and I’m humbled He can use me to point us back to His goodness!
It’s amazing of all the advantages and disadvantages a new place to live offers, weather seems to be one of the biggest differences/blessings/curses. For me, today as I finally sit in the sun without being cold, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness to redeem the bad over and over and over. Thanks for sharing. Glad I read this TODAY.
So true! And I’m so glad you’re not cold today — that’s been a long winter coming for you. I’m looking forward to visiting and experiencing another glimpse of God’s goodness in your new home 🙂