Head in the Clouds

I’m a sky kind of girl. I know many, many people stand with their toes in the ocean and it washes over them, over and over, how insignificant and known they are all at the same time. Don’t get me wrong; I can get really loved by the sea. But give me a sky–a sunrise, a storm cloud, an unbelievable blue; a sunset viewed from the Target parking lot that shimmies you from grocery shopping to insignificant and known–and I can write 10,000 poems.

I’ve been worried this week that maybe I hadn’t been noticing the sky as much as I should. I had a friend ask me what I’ve been up to, and when I told her (two jobs, five classes, 17 books, some significant relationships), her eyes widened. “Is it too much?” I wonder. “Will I start to miss the sky?”

I was watching the babies at church after a long day. I’d been sweating all the day long, praying fall over every single over-83-degrees day in the 30-day forecast (that’s every single one.) I was wearing a dress that wasn’t conducive to rocking and jumping and diaper-changing. I was thinking maybe I should have had an afternoon coffee. But then we played Peekaboo.

“OK guys,” I said. “Everyone cover your eyes. Then I’m going to count. 1 . . . 2 . . . PEEKABOO!”

If you haven’t recently seen a two-year-old dissolve in laughter, I’d suggest you take a peekaboo into a nursery this week. Bodies so little that they can’t handle all that goodness; they lose their footing and sit on the floor, shaking with giggles. “Again!” they squeal. Peekaboo 28 times. And it was there, under the florescent lights, that I saw the sky that night.

So, yes. This to say I’ve been busy. This to say I fall asleep over He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven. This to say the Starbucks baristas know my face, name, order, middle name, and shoe size. This to say I’ve said, “I can’t. I have too much stuff to do,” enough that I start to wonder if it’s wise decision-making or too much stuff to do. But also, this to say, “Peekaboo!”

I know what you’re thinking: “Stop talking about the sky and give us the good stuff!” And I have to say that I don’t exactly know what you’re talking about.

It’s been pretty fun. (Life, that is.) Sure, it’s easy to fall into a place where your planner dictates your every move, but I refuse to be one of those people. It’s easy to focus on the fact that you’re getting less than 7.3 hours of sleep every night. (Nine is my sweet spot.) It’s easy to say, “Too tired. Too much reading. Dishes, laundry, homework.” Here’s what I’ve been trying to say: “Do you want to get coffee? Do you want to come over? How are you? I can do that. Hey, look at the sky!” Or maybe Peekaboo.

Go, go, go. Stop. Sit. Breathe.

The wonder of the little bits–so big, in fact, that they give me the sky: this reels me in from too much stuff-thinking and stuff-doing. Like this: I got an email the other day while I was in class that said something along the lines of, “You are wonderful, and I love you.” I was meeting Norm in the lobby of a musty, crowded building, and even with all of those people there,  I walked up to him with glistening eyes. “Hey, listen to this,” I said. He listened, and when I took a breath, he looked at me and said, “And you are wonderful.”

We walked out into the rain, and I looked up: grey, twisty, breathtaking sky.

Insignificant; known.

“Does God proclaim Himself in the wonders of creation? No. All things proclaim Him, all things speak. Their beauty is the voice by which they announce God, by which they sing, ‘It is you who made me beautiful, not me myself but you.'” –Augustine


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