I struggle with this season of change, or rather, this season that stubbornly refuses to change even though Mother Nature claims it should be so. Feeling hot, ornery and uninspired, I allow myself to become absorbed in the business of everyday tasks and I forget to stop and enjoy the moment of sunset. So, lately I have been making an effort to be mindful of those moments whenever they happen to present themselves. And looking back, I have discovered a small collection of skyscapes too lovely not to share.
Of course, they are probably most lovely to me. Blurry, had-to-be-there moments hastily captured on the phone camera. A record of my own little experiences of feeling suddenly and unexpectedly connected to life, to nature, to myself and seeing my soul reflected in that great expanse of sky. Maybe I shall call them soulscapes.
It has been a summer of unusual weather in these parts. Hot, muggy, rainstorms, lightening. Both miserable and beautiful at the same time. At first sight, I find myself cursing those moisture-holding fluff balls. They steal the cooling power of my already inadequate evaporative cooler, creating a swampy and sticky mess. But I must admit, those dreaded clouds make for some pretty amazing skyscapes. Ornery as I may be, I have found great pleasure in the many moods of this summer sky.
Though I am a busy worker bee, I feel privileged to be able to say that I truly enjoy my work. It is a labor of love, to be sure. It consumes my time and energy. Yet, I am so fortunate that the work of my daily life is very much in tune with my own nature. As a Montessori teacher I spend my days discussing life cycles, observing nature, celebrating the changing of seasons and exploring the world through my senses. It is, in fact, a professional obligation to stay in touch with my own childlike sense of wonder. How amazing is that? As amazing as it is, even I lose sight of the wonder of it all from time to time.
But leave it to those wee ones to keep me on track. The other day, unorganized and running late, I hurried to school in a hustle-bustle cloud of unprepared energy. My ornery self, suddenly overwhelmed with this hot, stuffy summer air, threw open the classroom door to let in some fresh air. The children were alive with wonder as they arrived to find the door propped open to the outside (unusual after many months of being cooped up in this heat). One excited inquiry after another, “Why is the door open?”. To let in some fresh air, was my simple reply. As I listened to the discussion amongst the youngsters regarding this morning’s change in temperature and the unobstructed view of the cloud-filled sky, I was suddenly struck by a realization…the air was, in fact, significantly cooler this morning. Glory day! How did I miss it?
Later, one of the kiddos approached and declared, with pure and utter delight, “Mrs. T., I know why you opened the door! So we can feel the nature!”. My dear little owls. Your wisdom quite belies your age. Of course…don’t forget to feel the nature. Not just the nature of the outdoors, but the nature of life, the nature of being, the nature of love, joy and sorrow. Don’t forget to stop and take it in, whatever the moment brings.
In this season of change, I watch as some souls struggle to let go of this life while others prepare to guide new life into this world. Some wrestle with the constant push and pull of the deepest of sorrows and the purest delight. And I, myself, will try to remember to be mindful of the moments. Pause and wait for the sun to rise. Marvel at the storm. Absorb the colors of the sunset.
And for the stargazers, remember this: though storm clouds may obstruct your view, allow yourself to be immersed in the nature of the storm. Get lost in the clouds, enjoy the color they bring to your sunsets, feel the sky tears rain upon you, for it is but a moment. A moment soon to give way to another, one of clarity and vast night skies where your beloved stars laugh with a joy only you can know.