If I say the word cloud to you, your reaction will depend on your frame of mind. You might think of a beautiful blue sky with white puffy clouds on summer’s day. You might think how wonderful it would be to soar among the clouds. You might wish to sit on cloud nine.
If life is hard, you think of storm clouds. Coming toward you the gray mass bodes the coming deluge. One night our first year in Brookings, while the tornado sirens blared, we foolishly watched from our balcony as the tornado brushed the south side of town.
There is a cloud sitting on South Dakota. I don’t know how much of South Dakota is under this cloud. I do know that the 55 miles to Sioux Falls are under this cloud. It was a very dreary trip to Sioux Falls today. Rarely could I see more than two car lengths in front of me.
I suppose you could call it fog. Melting snow and the contrast of the air form these treacherous conditions. The moisture that filled the cloud speckled my windshield. I lamented my lack of an umbrella. Yet, I doubt it would have helped.
This was a different type of cloud. I’ve seen clouds sit on the ground in South Dakota many times now. I thought about the fog that I am in since the death of my mother. While this fog is different and definable, I have been in a fog for two years. I have not been able to see more than a few days ahead of me since moving to South Dakota.
It’s been gray for days. I’ve been in the apartment for these days. It’s sort of the same with my life. I’ve stay inside. I’ve dared not wander around in this cloud. Just as I found I could drive through the cloud to my destination and return, I can move forward here in South Dakota. Driving through the cloud I believe I will get to my destination, whatever it is in here in South Dakota.
I have daffodils in my apartment now to remind me that the clouds will eventually part.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
I wandr'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.