Cloud Shadows

One Sunday afternoon we were in the backyard on Connaught Avenue. We were all lying on the blanket watching for clouds in a cloudless sky. “Do you know how to make clouds? asked Dad. Of course, as a five-year-old didn’t. “You pick a spot in the sky and just stare at it until a cloud appears. I don’t know how it works but it always does.” So we all dutifully lay still on the grass and stared at the sky. Presently a wisp of white appeared. It was magic! The cloud grew and became substantially larger, then dissipated. We made another one and another after that. It really was magic.

One March day when the sun was bright and summer clouds were trying to form and the wind was blowing, I was sitting on the front steps by myself watching them race by. These shepherds’ clouds are the big, puffy, cumulus clouds that mark the beginning of warmer weather. I wondered if I could keep up with their shadows sweeping across the lawns. I decided to try. So off I ran across the yards. Of course, I didn’t win but it was fun trying.

Another day, it might have even been the same spring, I was occupying myself by lying in the long grass watching the clouds drift overhead. These were slow-moving clouds that morning as I had plenty of time to daydream about them. One particular cloud in the shape of a boot caught my attention. It was fluffy and pure white. It held its shape for a long time as I watched it float by. I wonder if these are God’s boots? I thought. I wonder how he keeps them clean.

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