This afternoon I was racing to an appointment, late as always, barreling down the West Side Highway in the typical stop-and-go of midday, mid-week. My cell phone was dying, I had a list of work-related things to do that I still had not accomplished, and my head was simply rattling. Oh, did I mention I blew out my iPod headphones last week and haven’t even remembered to replace them yet? In short, not the most pleasant cab ride. And at twenty bucks a pop, you’d like to at least be able to find peace of mind during these trips.
With none of the usual distractions available I found myself looking out the window and I noticed these clouds. Now, mind you, I am no tree-hugger. I am also not one of those people who is always happy, always finding the beauty–even though I’d like to be. But these clouds were amazing, really. I don’t even know what to call them. The sky was a perfect blue, and they just looked like they had been painted in, for my entertainment and enjoyment alone–they stretched all the way from the far reaches of the Financial District back Uptown from whence I’d come.
I tried to capture them with a photo taken on the very last legs of my uncharged phone. I promise you this image doesn’t do them a shred of justice. They just stopped me in my tracks and made me think, “Well, isn’t it all just so damn beautiful?” It really is. I live for these moments. They are the ones that make all the rest of it worth dealing with.
Recently I was having lunch (burgers and fries–my nutritionist had better not be reading this!) with my favorite four-year-old (yes, I know I am too old, and too busy, to be babysitting. But I love these kids so much I’ll probably end up sticking with them till I have my own). For the sake of his and his family’s privacy, we’ll just call him H. That’s what I call him most of the time anyway, when it’s not “Dude,” “Buddy,” or “Handsome.”
H had his bun-less, cheese-less burger in one hand and a toy train in the other. We were experiencing one of those pleasant lulls in adult-on-child conversation where it doesn’t matter that you aren’t talking, and nothing is awkward about it because hey, the kid’s just thinking. And you’re just watching him think. It was great. Out of nowhere he says, “Jenny?” Blue eyes jolt up in my direction and little mouth is set in a very adult half-smirk. “You know what the best part of Disney movies is? There’s always a happy ending. You can get through all the sad parts, because you know no matter what, everything will be okay.”
H has years to go, and lots to learn, but he sure is right about those happy endings. I have to disagree though about the best part–it’s not just at the end. The best part is when nothing particularly special, or good, or even remotely promising is happening, and then suddenly you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a beautiful day. Stress fades, work pauses, failing electronic devices can be dealt with later, and all that really matters are those crazy, perfect clouds.