As I crossed the street with the “walk” sign, I occasionally looked up at the sky at the wonderful clouds. When I reached the other side of the street, a woman, whom I did not know, arrived at the same part of the sidewalk as I. We exchanged smiles and hellos, commented on what a beautiful day it was, then stood and chatted about the fantastic clouds.
The woman spoke about how she, as a child, would lie on the ground on her back and look up at the clouds seeing/ imagining the cloud-shapes as people dancing or animals. I said I had done that, too. I do not remember which of us said it first, but, without having absolute proof, we both lamented today’s youth not doing that because of their focus on technology-in-hand. We felt it would be nice for today’s youth to experience what we had experienced.
As we were about to separate, I introduced myself and said where I lived with the assumption that she lived nearby. Wrong. She introduced herself, too, but told me that she did not live in the neighborhood. She worked in the building in front of which we stood talking. We said good bye and added that we would probably run into each other again. We had been/were united by clouds.
As I walked away, my brain drifted back to when I was a child and my mother sang the song “Uncloudy Day.” I could only remember the chorus:
Oh, the land of cloudless day,
Oh, the land of an unclouded sky
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise
Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.*
*Josiah Kelley Alwood (1879)
Of course, no longer a child, I knew that the song was not about the earth.