Saturday, July 31, 2010

Above the clouds

Last Thursday night, I went to Sydney for work. Then on Friday night, I went to Adelaide for my Aunt's engagement party on Saturday night. And then very early Sunday morning I flew back home so that I could be back in Brisbane in time to teach my Sunday School class. So with all of that travel, I had the opportunity to take a couple of plane rides.

I love to fly. I mean, I really love it. I've done a fair bit of it in my lifetime, but it never gets old for me. I always (always) check-in online so I can get a window seat. I love the takeoff, and I love the landing. And most of all, I love just how beautiful the world is up above the clouds. Sometimes I wish I could just float up there for a few minutes, just to feel the quiet that I sense exists when there are no airplanes around.

So very early Sunday morning, I was sitting on the plane, reading the old testament and preparing my Sunday School lesson. The scriptures we were studying last week were so beautiful and so tender, and between those and the view out of the window, I felt very blessed. The sunshine was just glorious, and then down below, for as far as the eye could see, there were the most magnificent, fluffy, white blankets and fabulous clouds. The looked so strong and gentle and beautiful all at the same time and I just wanted to get out and walk up and down them and enjoy all of that peace. It was so evident that the hand of the divine was in that sight.

After a couple of hours, the pilot announced that we would be landing shortly, and we started our descent. I always enjoy going through the cloud layer. It's just a tiny bit thrilling and scary since you can't see anything, and I find myself having a lot of faith in the instruments up in the cockpit. It seemed to take longer than normal to get through the clouds though - the layers were really think. And when we finally burst out through the bottom of them, I did a bit of a double take. It was so gloomy and rainy and dark and cold! I don't actually mind that weather too much actually, but it was just SO different from the world ABOVE the clouds that it completely took me back!

It was probably just because I'd been in a 'lesson preparing' frame of mind for most of the flight, but the whole thing got me thinking, and I've been thinking about it on and off all week. I wonder how often I look up and see gloomy clouds, and rain and darkness, and I wonder how often I get to thinking that that's all there is? And yet I wonder how often the sun is streaming down gloriously, just on the other side of the clouds. And then I wonder what I can do to make sure I'm seeing and enjoying it. I think sometimes clouds gather because of a difficult test or trial, and those storms are real and valid, and require a lot of faith and effort on our part. And there's not much we can do about them. But I also think that a lot of the time I put the clouds there because of a bad attitude, or sin, or a general inclination to refuse to have hope :)

Regardless, I think I'll find it comforting to realize that no matter how dark the clouds might seem, the sun is still shining beautifully just above them. Ultimately, they'll dissipate - clouds always do - and the constant and brilliant sun will be visible again.

Your thoughts?

xo Tammy


emilysuze said...

I love the new blog layout. And who took that lovely picture of you on a ferry? ;)

I also enjoyed reading your post and the your perspective. Sometimes it's so hard to see that there's something just on the other side of the tribulations we are currently going through and we all need reminders that there's something out there besides storm clouds.

Abby said...

Aw I love this post! What a happpy perspective on flying! I have to admit while I was recently barely escaping death by flying down to Newcastle and back, I did enjoy the amazingbly beautiful views above the clouds as well! I love your new blog layout, and I love the idea that above all our clouds, there's not only a silver lining, but a whole sunshiny world up there for when we're done on the ground :) Love you lots, can't wait for our next outing! xoxox

emilysuze said...

Well, now I know why I couldn't find the Space Needle! :)

Sandy M. said...

Did you take the picture Tammy?

It's a really good thought, thank you! I usually think of things being different just over the horizon, but I enjoy this analogy more - it seems more appropriate that the clearer, brighter, happier view improves away from earth and closer to heaven, doesn't it?
Also - that the rain that comes with the storms and clouds of life is what brings us the life and growth that we need so much while here on earth. Our challenges are necessary.
AND that's it when there are clouds, but we rise above them, on occasion, that we are able to travel further and more quickly - when we have paid the fare required (the price), and are taken by the pilot (the Holy Ghost?) to where our vision is lengthened and enlightened - and to where there is enhanced beauty and peace.
Too much? :) Ohwell, you got me thinking!

And by the way, thank you so much for your generosity and unselfishness in being so willing to travel down to Adelaide to help Auntie Leah with the engagement party. I'm very grateful that you are the kind of person who would do that! :)



breckster said...

I love the new look.

Only a jet setter like you would be able to share that great perspective. Oh, its storming where we are right now, so I needed it.

Jonny and Jessima said...

I enjoy reading your posts. I love what you wrote. I like how you can take something so simple and find something more deep and meaningful in it. I will have to look out for more of these moments.

Do you wanna have lunch one day?

Love Jessima

Bethany said...

If you want to spend more time up in the air, uninhibited by aircraft, you can always go sky diving :)

Nice thoughts Tam! I like this analogy. I'm going to remember it and use/refer to it :) xoxo

charrette said...

I love your thoughts on flying. You adventuress, you! And the sky images in the background make me feel like I'm soaring.

Keith and Cathy Atkinson said...

Hey tammy I think you ahve well adn truly landed now adn lots more things must have been happening . I think we are all ready for another update :-) Loved the picture though and what you had to say, thought provoking

Bethany said...

Tammy, Tammy, Tammy.
Are you having a private little competition with yourself to see how many comments you can get on one post?
EFY is I'm sure you can spare 10 mins :)
Far out, even I write more than you! And I'm not even any good and any of this stuff!
SO, if you're out of ideas or something I can help you out.
You could write about heaps of stuff! For example:
- How much you miss me
- How cool you think I am
- How you're going to have a 'Biggest Fan' appreciation award and it's going to me
- Work and how the office is no longer the same on Thursdays and Fridays since I left
- How awesome you are
- etc etc

Bacially, tons of stuff :)

So HOP to it!
Much love! I miss you :) xooxoxoxox