Sunday Morning: Clouds

cloud and hills, Arizona

Kent Nerburn, The Gift of Clouds, Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life:

Years ago I used to drive a cab for a living. There was a blind woman I used pick up at one of the local universities. She was taciturn, proper, almost British in her sense of propriety and reserve. And though she seldom talked, we gradually became friends. One day I asked her what one thing she would wish to see if, for only one minute, she could have the gift of sight. She smiled and thought a moment. Then, she said, “Clouds.” The answer surprised me. Of all the choices in the wide breadth of the world, she had chosen one that would never have crossed my mind. “Why clouds?” I asked. “Because I can’t imagine them,” she said. “People have tried to explain them to me. They tell me they are like cotton. The tell me they look like fog feels. They spray whipped cream in my hand. They move my fingers over paintings of skies and let me feel the shapes of clouds painted on canvas. But I am still no closer to an understanding. Yes, it would be clouds.” […]

As I drove along I pondered her words. I, who saw clearly, spent each day wishing for some distant object — a place, a person, some prize of life I hoped to win. But one who valued sight the most — one to whom it was denied — knew that the greatest gift her eyesight could bestow was before me, unnoticed and unhallowed, at that very moment.

“Clouds,” I thought. Of course. What else in this great universe so eludes description, so fills the spirit with wonder? What else floats gossamer and ethereal above our lives, never touching down but always present with us, a reminder of the majesty of an unseen God? As a child we are alive to their magic. We lie on our backs on summer hillsides, make up stories, find giants and dragons in their forms. They are God’s sketchbook, the measure of our capacity to dream. But as we grow, they fall victim to numbing familiarity. Their poetry and majesty, though still alive in our hearts, is easily overlooked, easily ignored.

“Now, let me ask you,” she was saying, “What is a cloud like?” I returned from my reverie. The traffic was churning angrily on the rush-hour streets. Far above, the clouds were moving slowly, like horses, like carriages, like elephants holding each other’s tails. “They’re like God’s dreams,” I said. “Thank you,” she responded. She did not speak again. But her still, small smile filled the cab with the eloquence of peace.



  1. Gorgeous words, these!♥
    Making a mental note to check out Kent Nerburn’s works when I can.. Thank you for sharing such beautiful poetic prose and take care, my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very touching. A share this morning David.
    I like the new look!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “As a child we are alive to their magic…”. As children we are alive to all magic. I’m reminded of a Chinese saying I heard once, ” we are once an adult and twice a child in this life. “. Perhaps this also is a reminder of the majesty of an unseen God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cannot tell you how much I love this–must reblog and save it on my blog……….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on On the Homefront and commented:
    “They’re like God’s dreams,…..”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad I took the time to read this inspiring post. It’s so true that often we get caught up chasing some unnameable dream when if we take a moment to stop and look around at the world we inhabit we might recognize the gifts that surround us. Thanks for a heartwarming post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am often speechless for a day when I read something I love so much. Back in a day or so with at least a paragraph 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is an awesome story. We often take for granted the blessings we have as small as all our senses. What a tremendous reminder that what we have daily, others are praying for. Thanks for sharing.


  9. yes, the perfect answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Truly a beautiful answer!

    And everything is just that…God’s Dreams…suffused with His Essence..
    You and me His dreamed characters…And it is Him looking through our eyes at His dreamed creation vibrant in His own Light..

    Celebrate Life His dream *as* each character is kinda short 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have many time watched the clouds. Their formations as they fall over the top of a mountain or as they swirl, twist and turn and then either disapear in a distance or just vaporize into blue sky is nothing short of spectactular. But to use words to grab the true essints of the cloud in look and feel I will now ponder for days. Thanks David for such a great mind stimulating post.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Anonymous says:

    A gift to read this again…I love Kent Nerburn


  13. Christie says:

    gesh I click to fast that anonymous is me

    Liked by 1 person

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