Staring at Clouds, Accepting Nothing

Yesterday I was angry. I was 3.5 hours into an 8 hour drive back from a friend’s wedding, and I was on the phone with family trying to handle a social media crisis of the grandest sort. The FBI was called; non-profit advocacy groups contacted; family put into high-alert to flag and report heinous acts.

And then, I found myself in the middle of nowhere. There was no cell signal. Barely a clear radio station. And miles of rolling hills, blue skies, and the puffiest white clouds I’ve ever seen.

I realized I had two choices: continue to stare at my cell phone hoping for cell signal (and then I still wouldn’t be able to do much) or press my forehead against the passenger window glass and watch the clouds go by. Either way, I would be helpless to do anything to “solve” the problem.

So, I chose the clouds.

It brought me back to childhood days of watching the different layers of clouds float by at different speeds. I let myself be awestruck at the miles between me and the clouds.

Fifteen minutes in, I realized that it was the first time I’d let myself enter into a meditative state in weeks.

After 15 more minutes, I let myself pull my cell phone out of the center console and check for text messages.

There were only two: one was a thank you and the other was inconsequential.

The power of it all struck me. I was given the gift of 30 minutes wherein I couldn’t do anything except meditate and remember the joy of clouds. Sure, there were still problems to solve, emotions to deal with, and family to worry about, but it was 30 minutes of accepting that I could do nothing but be angry until I wasn’t angry anymore — and it was liberating.

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