AN ALMOST PERFECT DAY
Each spring we eagerly await days like this and occasionally nature obliges us, compensates for the discomforts winter had brought. This particular day approached perfection – dazzling sun, baby blue sky, gentle breezes and the comforts of temperatures in the mid-70s. There I am driving along the highway under a canopy of endless blue when up ahead, high above me floats a single white cotton puff of a cloud. Distance distorts, but size-wise I figure it to about a thirty foot rectangular-shaped cloud, all by itself amidst the vast dome of the sky.
What is it doing here? It’s easy to imagine it as a stray sheep, one that’s drifted away from the flock or had deliberately chosen to be alone. Or perhaps a strong-willed puff of white gauze that had mistakenly pushed out from behind the blue backdrop to enjoy a peek at us. Could it be viewed as a blemish, akin to a knot on an otherwise exquisite slab of wood or an inadvertent drip of paint marring an otherwise spotless canvass?
I know little about the process of cloud formation and what atmospheric conditions result in their production. Assuming they were not favorable for their presence this day, how then did one materialize?
I kept gazing up at that lonely speck in the sky wondering whether there were companions I had not yet spotted. There weren’t. Further up the road I looked again. This time I couldn’t find it. Perhaps trees along the road were blocking my view. But I kept checking – still no cloud.
Had this fragile, unsubstantial fragment simply disappeared, enjoyed but a brief moment in the sun? I can’t say. But I do recognize that some of nature’s most compelling scenes – rainbows, lightening bolts, shooting stars, those that excite the imagination, depart quickly leave little evidence either of their presence or passage.