All Things Sunshine

Wishful Thinking-A Triolet


To feel the sunshine on my face
 
As it peeks from behind a cloud
 
Providing warmth, no need to chase
 
To feel the sunshine on my face
 
Although today it shows no trace
 
Wishful thinking, I am allowed
 
To feel the sunshine on my face
 
As it peeks from behind a cloud

The above poem is a reflection of recent cloudy days, but today the sun is shining! Except for some thin, wispy clouds near the horizon, the sky is so blue. I really needed this today, to both see and feel the sunshine on my face. A welcome relief.

The dreariness of the past few days had me focused on the sunshine or lack thereof. One morning not long ago I woke up with these words playing through my mind.

There is sunshine in my soul today
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky
For Jesus is my light

I have not heard this hymn in years. It was a standard in the small church I attended as a child. So, what made me think of it now? Possibly all the complaining I’d been doing concerning the absence of sunshine…

Or maybe I needed to be reminded of God’s love. Always present, ready to provide light and warmth for my soul if I’m willing to accept.

Today the warmth from the sun is not just wishful thinking. For that I am thankful. I am also grateful for songs, old and new, which remind us of all things sunshine, both physical and spiritual.

Here’s one more of my sunshine favorites. Give it a listen. 🙂 https://youtu.be/Fb5ZyPH41vE

Pictures in the Clouds

This week I rediscovered the children’s book “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw.  I love this book!  If you’ve never read it, go look it up.  The author creatively takes his readers through a series of images in white on a dark blue background.  Childlike pictures are paired with simple, repetitive words, creating a beautiful backdrop for the imagination.

After reading this story to my students, I asked if they’d ever noticed pictures in the clouds.  Most excitedly raised their hands, eager to share.  We discussed the importance of using our imaginations, and I shared about finding pictures in the clouds when I was a kid.  Funny how that has become more difficult to do as an adult.

Creatively using our imaginations as a grownup often requires more intention than when we were kids.  Our adult minds are on information overload, concerned with family and job responsibilities.  Being imaginative gets put on the back burner, seen as a luxury instead of a necessity.  I wonder what would happen if that changed?  At the least, our stress levels would go down.

At the end of class I challenged my students to notice the clouds next time they go outside and report back to me what they see. Hopefully some of them remember.  Truthfully, I’m the one who needs to be challenged. Maybe my students responses will inspire me to take the time to go outside and look up.

The pictures in the clouds are always there, just waiting for us to imagine them. What do you see?

Layers

Clouds are fascinating.  Since I was a little girl, they always captured my attention.  Maybe it’s the sky in general.  After all, blue is my favorite color, especially when in contrast with white, fluffy clouds.  When I was younger, a variety of images would easily appear in the clouds.  Now finding the pictures is more of a challenge to my imagination.  Oh, I still look, but there is a certain amount of effort required.

These days I tend to notice the many different types and combinations of clouds.  I love how they paint the sky in layers, with contrasting colors and motion, sometimes allowing small patches of blue to appear in the background.  These paintings don’t last long, morphing with the blowing  wind.  Photos rarely capture their true beauty.  Paintings may come close, but part of the beauty is in the movement, the gradual changes.

In many ways, life can be like those layers of clouds.  Sometimes it’s the grey, swirly ones that get our attention.  How will we face the coming storm?  Those sheets of rain off in the distance? Then we see the still, almost motionless layers underneath providing calm.  The storm is not erased, but the ability to get through becomes visible.  If we continue watching, witnessing the continuous changes, that patch of blue or ray of sunlight will soon appear.

Hopefully we also experience those fluffy cloud days, light and ordinary.  Nothing unexpected, time to rest in moments of shade. Or the wispy, almost laughing clouds, reminding us of a funny story or memory.  That kind of memory that makes us smile. Those are the days that revive us, giving strength for when the storm clouds reappear.  We know they will return, that is life.

Although I may never be able to capture the beauty of those clouds blanketing the sky, I will keep looking.  Watching for those moments of light and color to break through.  Reminded that life continues, moving with the swirls, through the storms, to the calm.

Layers upon layers upon layers… 

clouds

Clouds

Condensed drops of water

Floating high in the sky

Easily spotted from the ground

Yet more than meets the eye

Shade for a weary traveler

Relief for the dry, parched earth

Inspiration for an artist’s canvas

Imagery for the poet’s verse

Aesthetic or empirical

Which description would you choose?

Go outside and look up!

What have you got to lose?