by Cynthia Ruchti
Hours earlier, we stood on the shore of Trillium Lake, near Mt. Hood, as clouds rolled in. Soon, we we dodging raindrops to get back into the vehicle that took us to lower elevations, toward our host's home. After the rain spent itself, the clouds thinned again and split apart so we could see edges of light outlining the clouds. With sunset approaching, the outline turned from bright-white to orange to crimson against pockets of blue.
Rather than praise the return of blue or the brilliant color palette of light, our host said, "Look how the clouds complement the scene."
His words made it to my ever-present notebook within seconds. What a great perspective! Too often we see clouds as barriers to the real view. What if instead they are enhancements? The perfect foil, perfect backdrop, for spikes of light, creating something to reflect, ensuring the viewer notices the contrasts?
Rather than resent their presence, wouldn't we then see clouds as a vital part of the picture?
What if the latest rejection is actually brush strokes on canvas to provide a foil for an upcoming acceptance? What if a disappointment is the base for an outline of riotous light? What if having to rewrite the whole second half of your novel because of a sticking point you discovered two sentences from the end produces a more compelling story than the cloudless original?
This is what we saw when we got to Mt. Hood:
What if that same message came from the depths of the cloud in your view? Isn't it?