The Passing Cloud

Dear Friend,

Many years ago, during one of my darkest seasons, I sat with my back against the cool brick of a shed wall and wrote about loneliness and longing. I remember staring up at the mountains as the wind slipped between tall blades of elephant grass, and the sound of clanging bells rang throughout the fields as shepherd boys followed cattle across the savannah. I told myself that it was enough. That it was real and true. That it was beautiful. And this was a defining moment, because, despite the truth of it all, I couldn't quite believe a word I said.

I am telling you this, friend, because sometimes its hard to believe that someone else knows the fierce ache of longing. 

If you lived close, I know I'd find you sitting on my front steps when I returned from work. I'd hold you close, for as long as it took. Then we'd settle inside over mugs of hot chocolate laced with cream. Or, maybe just drink wine from mason jars, just like we used to, merlot, as always.  

I would tell you about the time I spent in the corner of the yard, my back against the wall. You would tell me  my words were wise, like you always do, but we'd both know that all I was saying was really, "I don't know how to ease this ache any more than you do. But, oh, I love you so."

Its okay if life feels a little too hard. And its okay if it makes you terribly, terribly blue. One day, it'll pass, I promise. And you won't think about him the way you do now, wanting answers, and wondering about all those words that were left unsaid. 

There are conversations in life that will mark you--conversations that, once had, will live in you from that point on. Sometimes, its the conversations you don't have that mark you the most, hauntingly. We don't know it, of course, until much later. Until time has allowed all those words to settle, so we can suddenly make sense of their shape through the settling dust. 

Do you remember when we ran through the puddles in the rain? Everyone else huddled in doors or beneath taunt umbrellas, but you and I, we danced through the ruined weather, kicking up raindrops. 

For you and me, there will be times in our lives that will boil down to that one vulnerable night, splashing through the streets. Because, friend, you are beautiful. All your losses, regrets, sins, hopes and secrets. Every last bit.

And this? This is just a passing cloud.
Breathe in. Breathe out. And look to the morning sun.



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