“Don’t pray for easier lives. Pray to be stronger men” – John F. Kennedy
I never knew how important clouds are. Clouds bring the gift of rain, shapes of animals, and they’re perfect for reflecting. Today, as I write this, I am staring at the clouds of Dijon. They’re not very unique. They’re just clouds, but they are today’s topic… and perhaps for the weirdest reason.
All my life, I found myself in situations that I never thought I could escape from. I faced many hardships all my life that ranged from minor issues to life threatening ones. Throughout every issue, I relied on a evaluating, anticipating, and resolving each issue separately to avoid major consequences of too many issues but not enough answers. I always felt like I could never solve enough issues to justify time to relax.
Have you ever experienced that? The feeling that you did not do enough today to feel okay with taking a break? The world knows I have experienced that feeling, and I can say that it is not pleasant. This is where the concept of balance came to hold more meaning in my life than I could ever imagine. Life may throw curve-balls at you, but you must be willing to swing and knock them out of the park. Even if you miss, you can at least say you tried which is what matters. This, however, does not take away from the feeling of not doing enough.
The pressures I feel are often relieved by nature, and in this case, clouds. Odd, I understand. Let me explain.
Clouds are entities that exist due to rising warm air turning cold, condensing, and eventually forming when droplets come together. They are also symbols in many cultures. In Chinese mythology, clouds can represent a connection between the heavens and the earth to symbolize the celestial realm. In our society, clouds are associated with happiness, purity, or simply normality. Clouds, despite the cultural respects, are also just… well, clouds. They’re doing their own things.
Clouds do not think about yesterday or tomorrow. I often use this concept to ground myself in reality today because I understand that clouds will be right now, and they may only be here right now. Clouds can leave tomorrow if the skies clear up, but I do not think clouds can comprehend that. That is perfectly alright because they do not need to know that. They just need to live today.
The hardships of life can overwhelm the wills of the strongest people if they do not find a way to let go of the problems for a little bit. I found myself stressed with the work of today, the work of tomorrow, and the work of next week. I have many unresolved issues that I yearn to find answers for, but I understand the irony of it. The scholar preaches to his students to study and prepare, but he fails to get together his own lessons and stay structured. I speak of balance and relaxing when I fail to do that the most.
This is why I love nature and these underappreciated beauties of nature called clouds. They remind me that today, I am looking at them. They are here with me in Dijon, France. I love how calming they are, and I love how happy they have made me when I struggled with myself. Clouds remind me that I never did have an easy life… but I overcame every challenge. You cannot expect life to get easier for you, but rather, you can become stronger than life.
Thank you very much, clouds. Storm or clear skies. Night or day. Clouds have a special place in my heart. They are after all, here with me today. We don’t know if they will come again tomorrow, but that’s just fine. It’s important to be here in the moment.