Saturday, May 12, 2012

Clouds from Both Sides


I have observed that
It's the clouds that give sunrise
Its brilliant colors.

And adversity
That gives life its character,
and people greatness.

For the past thirty years, my daily commute has followed much the same route.  In the morning, I drive east into the rising sun and in the evening I drive west. As a result, I have been allowed to witness half a life-time of sunrises, each one wonderful and each one different from the last.

Clear days begin with a graying in the east, followed by a pink, salmon, or orange pre-dawn and the emergence of the sun as a great red ball. Beautiful, but lacking interest; one crystal clear dawn appears much the same as any other.  Overcast and partly cloudy dawns, however, are brilliant. 

On even the most gloomy and overcast of mornings, dawn begins with a faint pink glow as the clouds reflect light from a sun not yet above the horizon. Sometimes, there is only a thread of color before silver light  increases into a gray morning.  However, on days when the overcast is less than complete, the clouds reflect the light of the rising sun in pinks and reds an oranges of hues and an intensity that defy description. The day that follows may be cloudy or light, but it's opening is brilliant! At such times, I find myself thankful for the clouds, for it is the clouds that make the experience memorable.

We dream of dawns without clouds and uncloudy days. I have sung, and Willie Nelson even recorded a song entitled "The Uncloudy Day". In life, uncloudy days mean smooth sailing. But we humans crave variety and excitement and however nice it is, smooth sailing rapidly becomes as unexciting as a cloudless dawn.

And, even as clouds brighten a dawn, challenge makes life interesting, and adversity causes growth. 

Heroes emerge from struggle.  The greatest heroes are those who have overcome the greatest obstacles and prevailed.  

What challenges or obstacles are you facing?

What will you do to overcome and prevail?