I drowsily slid into the driver's seat of my car for the morning commute to work. Would my thoughts ricochet back to yesterday's day off of work project or just settle into the long commute as a waking up coffee equivalent?
I knew a book on tape of Tolkien's short stories could entertain me during the next half hour but declined the notion. As I said, my brain was already brimming with stimuli from the prior day. Rather than listening to a new tale, the memory of the fairies from "Smith of Wooten Major" could beguile me once again if need be.
Driving due east, the morning sun was still low in the winter sky - itself also only just risen although seemingly less drowsy than me with its bright glare. Sunglasses donned, my attention soon folded into the horizon before me. The clouds in the sky directly ahead formed such a riveting combination of shapes and styles that I felt as if I was driving into the page of a storybook. The book lay open in invitation framed by the trees on each side of the road.
I think there ought to be a special dictionary for clouds because their variety is stunning and scientific labels like cumulous or cirrus hardly paint the picture in words. The closest I could get to the multi-faceted clouds up ahead was to say it was like a comet trail punctuated by sheep jumping over a fence. Add in several other flourishes of white "paint" in the sky and I decided this was definitely God's abstract art hanging in the sky gallery.
Of course as I drove the horizon ahead changed and the cloud formations shifted slightly. The storybook hue persisted however and I pinched myself to be sure I was driving to work instead of into a fairy tale world.
When I spilled out of the car in the parking lot at work, I marvelled at how I had read a story after all during my commute. The sky was a storybook and the clouds were the starring cast. At my feet on the pavement lay a tiny pinecone beckoning like a jewel dropped from Nature's bountiful storehouse of beauty. I picked it up and looked around to find what tree it played hooky from. Tucked in my pocket, I offered a silent thank you for such an enchanting morning all before my workday had even begun.
Now at work, I exclaim aha! The large tall Spruce tree directly outside my office window is full of tiny pinecones. Question answered. And cloud story remembered until the next time God paints and reads aloud on the canvas of the sky.