This I Believe

Roderick - Palos Verdes Estates, California
Entered on January 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

I believe in clouds; not just the fluffy white ones people always think of, but also those that are dark and stormy. Childhood hours spent staring at the make-believe animals in the sky led to an intriguing epiphany on the effect of clouds upon our lives. What other natural body is met with such joy yet so much sadness because its hue is just a bit darker?

The fiery heat of the midday sun attacked my skin to its deepest layers, and there was nothing I could do but use my jacket to shade myself. However, off to the west, the scene was dim. How, you may ask? Of course, to the west lies the Pacific Ocean and even in the deserts, clouds roll in to cover the parched landscapes. Welcome. Greeted with joyous screams, the clouds screen the sun’s light until the ground is comfortable and the skies are cool.

Nearly anyone can relate to this simple desire to get out of the sun’s reach and cool off. The clouds’ arrival is a refreshing change in the earth’s mood. It would be much better to sit out under the fluffy cumulus clouds than to sit under our bright red sun. Both entertainment and protection, clouds are my ultimate leisure device.

A different day, I woke up to the sound of rain falling from dark grey clouds above. Everyone rushes from building to building, seeking protection rather than the experience of learning more. The academic day ends and everyone saunters to the sanctuary of the library and miscellaneous buildings. The lawn and outdoor paths are serene and awash with rainwater flowing downhill. What can I do except enjoy this time? I journey outside the inner refuges to spend some time alone with myself; my only companion is the rain falling on my shirt and the water in my shoes. The difference is astounding: everything is still, slightly greyer than usual, but more interesting than ever before.

A dreary day may seem like another reason to despise life, but it really is a blessing if you’re in the right place. I have learned to enjoy the new perspective on our lives and our dependency on predicting the future. A daily ritual for nearly all Americans is to watch the weatherman for an update on the future, but what fun is that? If it rains, I should not need to plan for it, I am ready only when I see raindrops on my window.

The clouds cannot predict the day when they will release their payload upon the people below. The clouds teach spontaneity and I have realized they mean no harm whether they are grey or puffy white. Color means nothing to the clouds; they serve to extend life upon the earth, not to bring drear to our pre-planned lives.