Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clouds, Shade and Darkness

It's hot as the dickens down here in the city where sin comes to party.

It's so hot that every little bit of shade feels like paradise, and even the sun's departure brings no relief from the heat and humidity. The unrelenting heat, and the constant battle to escape it,  makes it impossible not to think about clouds, shade and darkness.

Every life is filled with seasons. The unbridled, potential-filled spring of childhood. The hot-headed, lust-filled and pressure-laden summer of young adulthood. The brisk, but comfortable middle-age of fall and, finally, the hoary cold of the winter of old age. For those blessed with a long life, we will see all of these seasons and experience the joys and pains that accompany each one.

We will all have our clouds, our shade and our darkness.

There is a difference between the three, particularly as it relates to how they affect our lives. Take shade, for instance. There is nothing more comforting when the summer sun is beating down on your head than a tiny oasis of shade. We seek that shade, it comforts us and provides a small escape.

But, when it's cold, shade is not a positive, but a negative. When we can't find the sun's rays in the cold, it's far easier to get chilled to the bone. In the cold, shade is not an oasis, but an ice patch, providing us with discomfort and some danger.

But, the shade is almost always a temporary and small thing. We can easily find it, or easily avoid it. When one area of shade deserts us, there is always another we can seek out. When we are trapped in one area of shade, we can usually escape with a minimum of effort.

That's not the case with clouds. Whether they be fluffy and white, or dark and gloomy, clouds have a far larger impact on our lives. In the heat, a passing cloud can provide us with comfort wherever we stand. It can also blot out the sun completely in the cold so there is nowhere to find warmth. Rain clouds can bring cooling rain, or violent and destructive thunderstorms.

We don't seek out clouds and typically we can only avoid them with some serious effort, if they are avoidable at all.

In fact, the only thing more unavoidable than clouds, is darkness.

We will see darkness. But, just like shade and clouds, it can be both boon and burden.

Darkness gives our world a rest from the sun. For while the sun helps sustain life, it can also erase it. Darkness provides a time of coolness, a time to recover and prepare for what will come in the future. Without darkness, would we even appreciate the light?

But, darkness also provides cover for things that are dangerous. Without the sun, things that abhor the light become bold. There is a reason so many people are afraid of the dark.

In our lives, we often get to make small decisions that will positively or negatively impact our lives. That's the shade. We also have unexpected situations that we cannot control, and that make good or bad impacts on how we live on a larger scale. They are obviously temporary, but that doesn't diminish their reach.  Those are our clouds.

Finally, we have things that are inevitable and unavoidable. Good and bad, these things will come and we must prepare ourselves to handle them. That's darkness.

What's your weather report looking like?



Deacon Blue said...

My outlook: Partly optimistic, with a chance for minor crises overnight, with winds of change heading in from the west at roughly 10 mph. Tomorrow, patchy ennui followed by periods of sunny disposition with a 20% chance for epiphanies.

As for your post: Astute observations...quite a bit more detailed than the mere clouds vs. sun analogy.

Redbonegirl97 said...

@Deacon Blue Hmmm, I think is heading my way.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

Raving Black Lunatic