She liked her days cloudy

It's difficult sometimes being self employed. I often long for conversations with co workers over a cup of coffee. Or the mid morning meeting held in the board room to discuss growth. Many days I wake up longing for the opportunity and find myself right where I'm suppose to be connecting with a perfect stranger, perhaps a messenger with a story for me to share.

Today was no different. I headed out to fulfill my longing for pancakes, the light fluffy kind that never seem to fill, but always satisfy. It was a comfortable Fall morning and actually uneventful right through breakfast. Then just as I got up to leave, an older woman, perhaps late 60's early 70's, stood up in front of me and slowly headed to the register. I've been trying to slow myself down to let the world catch up with me so this was first of all a lesson in patience. She fumbled for her bill and exact change and chatted with the young cashier. I was in no hurry. Then I paid my bill and actually headed out the door before her. She was still fidgeting with her purse. As I turned around at the door I spotted her approach and decided to wait to hold the door for her.

"Thank you young man," she said. Being called a "young man" was certainly worth the wait.

As we exited the building she proclaimed this to be a beautiful day and I agreed. "Except," she said, "there are no clouds in the sky. I love clouds."

Most people consider a cloudy day to be dreary and depressing. But this wonderful lady loved the clouds. She takes pictures of them through her picture window over looking the lake. She has collected hundreds of them. Especially those incredible moments at sunset.

I needed her today. I commented to my wife about the lack of friends to share time with during the day so God sent me one. I could sense that she too was looking for a conversation. She never stopped talking. She had this incredible ability to connect stories one to another. The clouds reminded her of the beautiful yard she has and the wedding receptions held on her property in absolutely perfect weather each time. Of course that thought connected her memory to her husband who shortly after attending their daughter's wedding, died from cancer. He was a miracle of sorts. As sick as he was he walked her down the aisle and even danced. Then her daughter, her beautiful daughter of 39 years died from ovarian cancer.

We had spoken for nearly 20 minutes in the parking lot without even sharing our names until I thanked her and offered her my business card. "Gerri!" I'm guessing short for Geraldine touched my life today. I told her she was my gift for today. She nearly started to cry.

I learned about clouds today. There are clouds that darken our soul like the loss of her daughter and husband. Then there are clouds that brighten our view of the world ever changing right before our eyes in the form of a sunset.

Stop today and look for the clouds in your life. The ones that bring joy and a smile to your face.

By the way. At the end of the 20 minute conversation the perfectly clear blue sky suddenly transformed itself with the most incredible hand drawn streams of white puffy clouds. "They look like birds.," she said.

They did. As my heart took flight and my soul thanked God for clouds.

I can't wait for tomorrow. They are forecasting "partly cloudy skies." "I believe in you!"

Bob Perks Copyright (c) 2003, Bob Perks. I encourage you to share my stories with your friends but, when copying I ask that you keep my name and contact information attached along with this notice. Use of this story for commercial purposes is prohibited without direct permission from the author.

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