Up Where The Clouds Are

We were at 36,000 feet, cruising along at a rough 400 miles per hour, when I looked over at the four year old. She sat with her hand resting on the window, quietly peering out at the clouds.FullSizeRender

“Mom, I want to get out here,” she exclaimed. “We’re up where the clouds are! I want to run through them. That would be awesome!”

“That would be awesome,” I replied, hearing chuckles from the passengers behind us.

As we were cruising along, A was overcome for a moment at the awesomeness of the clouds, I found myself enamored with my little girl discovering the world, and that brief, little moment reminded me a lot of life.

Most of us cruise through our lives at speeds that get faster with demands that become greater as we go. There are days where 24 hours doesn’t seem like enough. Where relationships and gadgets and social media handles and calendars and commitments and committees all fight for our attention and make us feel crazy and exhausted and overwhelmed.

Like the days when I make a cup of coffee and leave it sitting on the counter as I walk out the door. (Hate! That!). Or the days when I am answering an email on my computer and interrupt myself to pick up my phone and check the same email account. (What?! Why?! And who does that?!).

And when those things start to happen, I’ve learned that for me, I’ve set the cruise control a bit too fast, and I both need and want to slow down.

And when I slow down – it’s funny, what happens: I notice the little stuff. The small, yet sacred moments that make life rich and meaningful.

Like how magnificent the spring blooms are on the trees. Like how good the sand feels between my toes at the beach. Like how promising sunrises and sunsets are. Like how intentional conversation with good friends can renew my soul. Like how delicious a (free!) chocolate chip cookie tastes. Like how fun it is to climb trees and walk barefoot in the grass. Like how much I enjoy getting lost in a book for an hour. Or how hilarious and innocent children can be. Like how fortunate I am to have a comfortable bed and a soft pillow. Or how I have a job that challenges me mentally and enables me to sufficiently provide for  my daughter. Like how I have clean water, clean air and the choice of food to eat. Like how good it feels to laugh and laugh and laugh. Like how mesmerizing the flicker of a flame can be. Or how a dinner can be more about the conversation and the company than about the food and the dishes. Like how good a hug from a friend can feel.

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If we really stop and think about it, the really, really good parts, the parts of life that make us feel alive and whole and healthy are always in the small stuff. Life is just busy and fast, and sometimes, there is just no getting around it.

But as we cruise along at 36,000 feet and 400 mph, in the midst of our own busyness, we can choose to pause for a moment and take a minute to look out our own hypothetical window. Because, if we are always too busy for the small stuff, we miss the really, really good stuff…like how majestic it is up where the clouds are.

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