Broken Clouds


The summer turns warm and I remind myself not to complain. The winter was so harsh I bartered with the weather gods—promising that I would not complain once the heat finally took the place of single digit temperatures, winds that teared my eyes to frozen strands, and layers of ice that made my driveway a hazardous zone. So I am not complaining, but it has been rather warm out there. This time of year, though, the weather changes quite quickly. Morning haze breaks to sun and is followed by clouds and rumbling skies. Last week I looked out at the forecast—the obsession practiced by so many of us—and the days ahead called for high temperatures and broken clouds. Broken. Clouds.

I cannot recall broken being used for clouds before. Clouds are scattered, partly cloudy, and variable, but the description broken rings curious. Why should they not be broken? I like this descriptor and pause to appreciate what broken describes. Broken is not whole but it is also not continuous, not necessarily lasting. The term can describe many of the people I know in the same way it describes the clouds. I think many of us are or have been broken in some place or way.

We break due to injury and illness—from broken bones to broken hearts. Perhaps the break is temporary and the healing swift, but sometimes that which has broken takes longer to mend and possibly we never completely recover.

We break due to loss—loss of love or loss of a loved one. In that place where we held love for another living being we feel the void when they are gone. It is in that space between love and loss that we are broken. There is hope to believe love can heal us and mend the broken places when we open to new love and relationships. We collect ourselves in the broken parts.

The reality is that we break because we have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. We have given passage to the uncertainties of life with the certitude that life is only truly lived if we allow ourselves to accept that in the spaces where we are open, we may also break.

In those broken places, we may carry scars but we also hold memories of how it is to be a part of this thing called life. And in this thing called life there will always be cold days and hot afternoons, mended pains and fragmented places, but like the clouds that are broken, we create space for the light to come through and it is in those spaces of our broken selves that we shine.

1 comment

  1. Alan Hedrick says:

    Healing words, Ann. Thank you.

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