Why Have the Clouds Changed? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 16, 2011
By , Palm Beach, FL
The only forest I have seen in a long while is the forest of skyscrapers downtown.
They reach for the sunlight, and create a canopy over the busy city below.
The people are secluded from the world, yet they are the ones who make the world go ‘round.
They consider themselves the king of the hill, the Queen Bee, yet they are only tiny ants engulfed in a haze of smoky pollution and blaring car horns.
The one mountain that seems to perpetually pose as a challenge to these people is the mountain of paperwork slapped across their desks at the office.
The other mountains, like that really big one in Nepal, only exist on the glossy pages of National Geographic, which are haphazardly stacked by the dozens in the their downstairs basements.
Life is no longer a walk in the park for these people, but it seems to be a never-ending struggle to hang on as the worries and hassles of everyday life whizz by.
In actuality, these people don’t really know what they’re missing, because they’ve never really been to any parks, at least not the ones with the grass, and trees.
They prefer to mingle and gather in nightclubs, bars, and dimly lit restaurants, where the din of mindless chatter oozes through the cracks in the walls, and the clinking of wine glasses and silverware creates a soothing, familiar rhythm.
In the minds of these people, the first glimpse of fall colors do not appear in the changing landscapes of the nearby apple orchard, as the greens and blues of summer transform into deep reds and yellows of the new season.
For this species, the first signs of fall appear in mid September, when the common sights of people rushing about in t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops quickly transform into women hurrying off to work in high-heeled boots, Burberry scarves, and designer coats. The men, just as grey and dull as ever, trade in their khaki shorts and pastel-colored golf shirts for grey suits, as they resume their grey lives, muttering and complaining to themselves as they rush along to begin another fun-filled day in their grey offices.
These people do not swim amidst the waves in a deep blue ocean, yet they live their daily lives engulfed in the massive seas of traffic that stretch from one end of the city to the other. The cars, busses, and taxicabs, lined up in neat little rows, spew clouds of black exhaust that cause the citizens to cough and turn their faces up in disgust as they pass by on the busy sidewalks.
They long to revisit a moment in their childhood, when they were young and the difficulties of life seemed to be obsolete. While rushing about in order to make it to the office on time, these people might see an image, or smell a fragrance, or hear a familiar sound, that takes them back to a simpler time in their lives, but only for a moment. One might gaze up and see a cloud in the sky. This cloud may remind the person of when they used to lie in the backyard and pass the lazy afternoons of summer by watching the clouds drift by overhead. They remember how the clouds of their childhood would resemble various shapes: a bird, a pirate ship, an airplane. While hurrying off to work, they reflect on these past memories with a certain fondness. However, if they think about this subject for a minute more, these people may come to realize that the clouds of their adulthood are much different from those of their youth.
These people, in their grey business suits, hauling bloated briefcases, wonder why the clouds have changed. They realize that they have not gazed at the clouds in a very long time, and they may be surprised to see that these airy wisps no longer resemble ladybugs or spaceships, but they are simply amorphous puffs of white that hang above the city.

For a moment, they may stop and stare at the sky, hoping…forcing themselves to find a racecar or fire breathing dragon amongst the white puffs hanging overhead. They my do this in order to convince themselves that they still have a breath of youth inside their souls. Many of these people regret leaving their childhoods behind and instead turning to the structured, monotonous world of the adult. They hope to look up and see a white dinosaur smiling down at them, however, most of these people lack the patience required to find this special cloud, and instead, begrudgingly continue on their way to the office, all the while, wondering why the clouds have changed.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

M.S.Canyon said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Beautifully written, a wonderful social commentary which doesn't sound like a whiney eco-attack on society. Well done sir or madam, I wish I could see some other work of your's but Que Sera, Sera.

What Will Be, Will Be

For.you.a.thousand.times.over replied...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you like it!! I really appreciate the comment.

I like that- Que sera, sera =)


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