Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cloud Puddles

     Every weekday morning I walk with my kids to the elementary school to drop off my son for Kindergarten. One particular morning last week, we found ourselves hopping over puddles as we crossed the street. The previous night it had rained quite a bit. Being so dry here, it doesn't rain much.  So when it does, it is a wonderful and magical event. We found ourselves walking under a sky of fluffy clouds flouting in front of the rising sun. It was beautiful. No time for beauty though, we had to hop the puddles in the road so we didn't get our shoes soaked with the dirty water. As we walked down the street, my daughter kept wanting to walk on the curb and look at all the water in the gutter. "No." I said, "Stay away from the road." But she kept drifting back to the puddles. "Stay away from the dirty water," I told her, " I don't want your shoes wet." I could just see her, that little kid sparkle in her eyes. . . she wanted to step in the puddles, I just knew it. Then we would have dirty road water all over her shoes to go to preschool in. Again I had to tell her to stay away from the water. "But Mom!" she said in her sweet little girl voice, "I want to see the clouds!"
Clouds? She was looking down instead of up, and she said clouds? I looked again at the big puddle she was walking next to. As I changed my focus, I noticed the reflection of the beautiful sky in the water. She was watching those white fluffy clouds as she walked along the water.

     I later thought, this situation is so true of our lives. Sometimes when we have rough circumstances we only see it as bad, dirty gunk, or a potential hazard. We think that if we get close to something that we will get hurt, or dirty. Instead, if we change our focus, or perspective, we can see that things aren't so bad, sometimes they're even beautiful.
     In a few weeks, right smack in the middle of the Holiday season, we will be saying goodbye to my husband who will be away for the good part of a year. When I think about it, it is very hard to have a positive perspective about it. But I have seen other wives who have gone through this and I have learned how to see the clouds in my dirty puddle. Yes, the puddle is still dirty, we are going to have some hard times in the coming months. But, if my kids and I stay busy, and concentrate on the positive things (less laundry, less dishes, fun family letter writing time), it helps us to see those clouds in our puddle. The puddle doesn't go away or get cleaner, but it allows us, with the right focus, to see the beauty all around us. 

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