So there I was kicking it in the backyard enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, listening to the soothing sounds of our waterfall, eyes to the sky, where the billowy Cumulus were putting on quite a show as they floated lazily across the sky. They looked like large clumps of cotton candy and had my imagination working overtime. I could see an assortment of animals, people and other objects in a passing parade of fluffy whiteness. It was beautiful and so very peaceful. God’s work and love for us is so apparent on days like that.
In the midst of all the beauty, for reasons unknown, I was struck by a rather strange thought. Actually it wasn’t so much strange as it was untimely. I’m not sure where it came from or why it hit me at that exact moment but I gotta tell you, it’s been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. As I sat there watching a great white lion with a mane as wild as the wind, melt slowly away in the afternoon breeze, a little voice inside my head whispered softly, “why?” I didn’t pay much attention to it at first and continued watching the aerial show but then I heard it again a bit more insistently “Why?” Always the smart ass I immediately thought sarcastically “why not?” but no response came, just silence and the nagging memory of the single word ‘why’.
For God sake, what was that all about? Why what? Why ask why? Inquiring minds wants to know! Think about it for a moment the possibilities are endless! Why am I here? Why do I believe as I do? Why am I a dreamer? Why have I made some of the choices I’ve made? Why did I decide to be a teacher? a counselor? Why did I retire? Why haven’t I done more with my life? The list goes on and on. We’ve all had a whole lottta of whys in our lifetime, a shit load of them, and you know there are plenty more to come. which leaves me scratching my head and wondering “Why what?
Now a clue would have been a nice touch, a little something to get me thinking in the right direction but there was only the one word why, nothing more. I even to wonder about the exact moment I heard the ‘why’ and thought for a while that the blue sky and drifting clouds might offer up the clue I needed to solve the ‘why’ question but try as I might I got nothing. Well that’s not exactly true, I did recall an incident from my youth that occurred on just such a day as my ‘why’ day.
It was a lifetime ago back in my stoner days. I must have been about 19 or 20. My cousin Dave and I were laying on our backs in the center of the baseball field at Memorial Park, buzzed of course, eyes to the sky. We were watching the patchy, white, Cumulus clouds drift slowly across the sky. My imagination was going crazy. For just a moment the circus came to life among the clouds. Animals and acrobats floating slowly in the sky. And in the next moment they began to pull apart and take on new shapes and forms. It was quite an afternoon.
We’d been there to watch some of our friends play football but quickly lost interest and began sky gazing instead. We’d probably been there about an hour when my eyes were drawn to a particular place in the sky where the clouds were thinner and although I know it sounds unbelievable there appeared to be words forming in the translucent clouds. I could see some of the words taking shape, the first word was THE . I don’t know why but in that instance I got a very ominous feeling and forced myself to look away. I was frightened and had no intention of reading the words in the sky. And they were there. Dave saw them too but he couldn’t make out what they said.
It was a very strange experience, one we’ve talked about often. Eventually we even began joking about it and saying that it looked like movie credits. We even said that the ‘THE’ I saw would have probably spelled out THE END. Yeah we laughed about it but I gotta tell you, it was one strange moment. To this day I still get the Heebie jeebies when I think about it. I still don’t know why I didn’t try to read the words in the sky or what they might have said. It could have been a life changer. I’ll never know. So the mystery continues, but I gotta tell you, I really don’t think the ‘why’ I heard in my head two weeks ago had anything to do with the words in the sky, nothing at all.
I wish I could say that pondering the ‘why’ question has brought about some grand epiphany or reawakening of spirit but so far that hasn’t happened. I got nothing, not a damn thing. Oh I’ve taken some interesting mind trips down memory road and visited a few side streets I hadn’t traveled in years, like the one mentioned above but other than triggering some wistful bouts of nostalgia, they were all dead ends. I’m no closer to explaining the meaning of the ‘why’ question and believe me it’s bugging me big time! What is God trying to tell me? What does He want me to realize? What exactly am I missing? I really need to know.
Truthfully at this point I think I need more than a clue. I think a signpost or maybe a billboard would be better. Something to give me some direction and insight. All I have is a meager ‘why’ and have dwelt on it off and on for a couple of weeks now. I had no idea that a simple, one word thought could trigger an existential experience like this. I hate when that happens.
The search goes on…