365 Grateful: of moonlight and clouds


365 - 11-01-2015Right now I’m slipping through three times zones on a flight from Ohio to Seattle. It’s still pitch black out there – my flight ascended at 6 a.m. I swear time’s standing still because it’s still 6, and I’ve already come a long way.

I stare out the window and think that it’s much too early for serious cognitive activity following a restless night spent waiting for the chirp of a phone alarm. My sleep-deprived eyes prove it; they’re slow to recognize the vivid tundra of puffy white clouds out there. Not much wonder, though. This morning I’m gazing down at them, which is nothing like my everyday earth-bound view.

Eventually my brain fires. Ah, these clouds are otherworldly lit, with texture and shadow, light and dark, all glowing and ethereal. I crane my neck and there it is: the Full Hunter’s Moon silvering out the clouds all around us. Ironic, too, for this moon is also the Travel Moon and I, of course, am traveling.

Oh, I wish I could capture that view with all the nuances my eyes see, but plane windows and cameras are not so compatible. Still, I can’t help but think that this moment cups the promise of a different perspective on life.

From our ground-level tunnel-vision perspective, clouds just block the sky, don’t they? They hide the sun. They bring rain – necessary, yet at all the wrong times, it seems. They depress spirits and spoil best-laid plans. When we say something clouds our vision or our judgment, we really mean our thinking’s skewed, occluded: We can’t see clearly.

But here, awash in the soft light of the full October moon so high above the ground, a different perspective emerges – one where silver linings are real, not imagined, and clouds seen from above offer the hope of new insight. Earthbound, we catch glimpses of it in the clouds, but only when the light of the sun or a brilliant moon illuminates.

Grateful for the reminder at this eternal 6 a.m. moment that clouds in any form — in the sky or in our lives — may at times obscure but, if we expand our vision and really look, also hold perspectives to help us uncover an Aha or two. And that’s something worth exploring.

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