The observant cloud
Chapter 1: The city
When looking at it from an ordinary point of view life up here can seem pretty boring and quite pointless , floating all day long in the sky without any sense of direction. In that sense anything in the world can seem tedious and meaningless if you look at it blindly without actually realizing the purpose of that of what you see. Everything in life has meaning and a purpose, whether it’s an ant or a human, or in my case even a cloud.
Before I realized how life is filled with vibrant and unique colors of all kind, I also used to look at it from a colorless perspective. But my realization of life came with a price like every other thing in the world. That price was to let go of my old views and perspectives of life. This of course took me quite some time to do so because nothing in life is ever hurried. Everything happens slowly and steadily, like it should.
My first and foremost step to this path was to observe. I came to this conclusion as soon I realized that I don’t take nearly enough time to observe and to feel what the world has to offer.
My observation started from the day I was floating over a large city. There I witnessed enormous man-made structures of all sorts scattered everywhere in sight along with just a few patches of natural beauty. As I lowered myself to I get a better look, I witnessed numerous humans walking hastily and vehicles rushing by here and there. Every person was busy in his or her own thoughts and appeared to be too much involved in worldly activities. No one seemed to be truly at peace with their lives. Each and every person seemed to be distressed. I sensed that the reason for this was their constant urge for getting more and more out of life. This observation raised my curiosity to a great amount and made me think if all humans are like this. To me it appeared as if all the humans in the city were dead. Even though apparently on the outside they were alive but from the inside they were as good as dead. To be truly alive does not only mean to breathe, but instead means to live life with the sense that you know what you are doing and are truly satisfied with it. But we should not be too quick to judge. If we need to judge than we need to do it carefully. Along with that we need keep in mind the possibility that our judgment could turn out totally false and because of that we need to keep it to our self. This is a valuable lesson I learned on my next observations.
Chapter 2: The village
My next stop was a small village with a very limited number of inhabitants. It wasn’t very advanced and sophisticated like the city; instead it was rather simple and uncomplicated. The faces of most people at the village depicted peace and harmony. While observing the people, I caught eye of something very interesting. So I began to witness the strange spectacle with utmost fascination. I witnessed kids of varying ages were running and playing with each other without a single worry in the world, wild and carefree. From watching the children happily playing it seemed as if the world is not as cruel as thought to be instead it seemed like a garden of eternal bliss, but of course reality is much different indeed. In the village, along with numerous small houses, it was filled with the profound beauty that nature has to offer. There were vast fields of various crops magnificently laid across the land along with different kinds of animals roaming here and there. The people seemed to follow a certain direction of life and their hearts harbored not too many complex desires either, which is pleasant indeed but something is missing. The people of the small village lacked ambition. They didn’t seem to have any dreams or goals that they wanted to achieve in life. But despite living such a simple life where they seemed concerned with only surviving, they looked satisfied with what they had and did not mourn for what they didn’t have. This observation greatly enhanced my perception of the world but filled my thoughts with a sea of other questions.
Chapter 3: The valley
After the village, I arrived at an extraordinarily beautiful and eye-catching valley which was far away from all the cities and villages. It was marvelously crafted with unparalleled skill and had the divine touch of nature added to it. The valley consisted of a few small houses scattered around the area with large and glorious mountains nearby which towered over the houses. Over a little distance from the houses there was gorgeous small body of water flowing with a clear blue color unlike any other. Just the mere sight of the valley gave me a sense of tranquility and flooded me unreal feeling of true peace. As soon as my gaze landed on the few people that were working there, it seemed as if the people had everything they ever desired for in life. They emitted an aura which depicted serenity and absolute peacefulness of the mind, body and most importantly the soul. They had what many humans did not and that was enlightenment. Without a doubt this enlightenment of the people that lived there can only be credited to the truly stunning atmosphere that nature has provided them.
The valley had given me a fresh feeling of how colorful the world can be. Some parts of the world are painted very dull and dark with just a pinch of life added to it. While other parts of the world are magnificently painted with alluring vibrant colors of all kinds and variations which are overflowing with life.
Chapter 4: The splendor of animals
After my visit at the valley, I drifted over many different deserts, seas, oceans, jungles and forests. This time instead of observing humans, I observed all kinds of unique and distinctive animals in their natural habitats. Animals unlike humans were very simplistic with no malicious interests or greedy desires. They had concern only on basic survival which included eating food, drinking water and taking a nap. But besides basic survival there was one more quite fascinating thing that animals did and that was to express emotion. It may not be visible at first sight, but it was clear that emotion was also a part of their lives. I came to know this as when I came across two elephants: one which was lying dead on the ground while other was standing beside him expressing sorrow and grief for his lost one. The elephant was throwing its trunk high in the air and wailing, after that it was silently weeping while sitting beside his dead friend. A truly depressing sight it was. Besides the emotion of “sadness” I also witnessed animals expressing the universal and the everlasting emotion of “love”. There were two birds that were singing together, a mother duck taking her ducklings on a walk, pandas playing with each other and countless other animals that were in some way, somehow showing or expressing the captivating and eccentric feeling of love.
Chapter 5: The town
Quite some time had passed since my visit to the animals and nothing interesting had come in my way. I was floating aimlessly in a sea of for what seemed like unending boredom until I came across a particularly appealing sight at a small town. The small town was very underdeveloped as it had dirty streets, roads with numerous potholes and narrow alleys. There I spotted a small boy running as fast the wind while carrying in his hands a small bag consisting of something that seemed of immense value to him. Behind him, a fairly overweight man running and yelling with all his might as loudly as he could along with another young man whom seemed like his assistant. During this frenzied chase the boy slipped and fell face flat on the ground while dropping the bag of what looked like some kind of medicine. The two men caught up to the boy and took the bag from him. The man started yelling nasty insults to the boy now sitting on the ground looking downwards. He appeared heartbroken, fresh tears were now rolling down the boy’s eyes as started to stand up. People around the boy started giving him stares that showed disgust and dissatisfaction. The word “thief” was uttered numerous times among the crowd of people that were spectating the whole situation. The boy with his hands covering his face ran off somewhere else. It was obvious from the looks of it that the boy stole the medicine from the man’s shop, but something seemed odd about the whole situation.
Later that day, a cloudburst of rain was descending from the sky. Wet and completely soaked the boy was slowly walking through the rain. His hands were tucked in his pockets and his was positioned downwards, he seemed very melancholic. It was apparent to me now that the medicine the boy stole was not for him at all, instead it was for someone he cared for. The rain was heavily falling from the sky with great intensity; each and every drop fell and dispersed on the ground with the same speed and intensity with which it came. The sound of every rain drop hitting the earth seemingly grew louder and louder as if to show that even the skies were mourning for the boy’s misery. The skies in their own unique manner expressed their feelings on how terribly cruel the world is by letting their own tears free into the depths of what lay below.
Some time passed and the boy reached his home which was nothing more than a medium sized tent made out of old and dirty cloth along with many others in the outskirts of the town. The boy upon reaching the tent sat down right beside an elderly woman whom seemed very weak and fragile. He tried talking to her but it was already too late. She just lay there on the ground with light gone out of her eyes; in absolute peace and harmony. In the end she embraced something that life can’t offer, something which is only possible within the boundaries of death. That thing is freedom from all the worries and troubles from the world we live in, we no longer have to face and experience harsh truths and sweet lies that the world has to offer. As scary as it may seem undoubtedly death is the inevitable universal truth that lies in the very depths of hearts in all living beings, which is just waiting to rise to the surface until the time is right. But before that time death ultimately shields and protects life from none other than itself. Whether it is us or someone else, we still have to accept that in the end death spares no one.
The next day a small funeral was held for the boy’s mother. The funeral consisted of just a few people whom silently grieved for her and then buried her in a nearby graveyard. It was still raining in the morning when they buried her. After the funeral the boy went to his mother’s grave and quietly sat by it. Tears were trickling down his small dark eyes, he seemed helpless. Helpless that he could not do anything to save his mother. A deep and dark wound filled by nothing but sorrow and regret had been bestowed upon his heart. But even wounds like that can be healed over time as nothing in this world is permanent, not even sorrow and sadness. He looked up towards the sky at the rain, for him the rain was sign of grief and unhappiness. I watched till night time that the boy was still sitting there, motionless and empty. At times like these, the chances of being content and satisfied with life are next to none. But what choice do we have except for moving on with life. I left and drifted off from that place while feeling sorry for the boy’s loss.
Chapter 6: Celebration
During the same night of the boy’s loss and in the same town, I came upon another section of the town. There a large group of people in a hotel were celebrating for what seemed for them as a special event. People were genuinely smiling and seemed to be in a blissful mood. While eating, drinking and gossiping with each other, the people completely forget how unkind the world is by celebrating the merry event with utmost joy to the full extent. They appeared to be diving deep into the depths of their hearts and even for just a while they tapped into addictive feeling of happiness and expressed it by letting it out for the world to witness. Men and women were going in and out while children were running around; it all seemed like a true representation of the diversity of what life has to offer us. The same rain that seemed to be a sign of sorrow and misery at the funeral was now symbol of great pleasure and ecstasy. Later a couple emerged from the hotel with a large crowd of people following behind them showing them happiness and love and giving them their best wishes for a happy life together. From there on out it became clear to me that the couple had just tied the threads of their lives together and were about depart for the journey ahead. They had just married and were about leave. It seemed quite odd that on one side of the same town there was sorrow and silence in the atmosphere. While on the other side there was nothing but joy and bliss spread all over. This phenomenon ignited my curiosity to a great degree. I contemplated on the fact that for some, the day is sad and gloomy, while for others the very same day consists of great joy and excitement. I figured that it was all a matter of perspective and time.
Chapter 7: Eternal bliss
Years passed by and I witnessed and watched an innumerable amount of events while on my journey, each one different from the other. At the start for what seemed like just an ordinary peek into the world that lay below turned into a habit. Over time I saw civilizations rise and fall, people killing each other and waging war amongst each other and while various species of animals going extinct. I also caught the sight of humanity making their way into nature and lessening its beauty by replacing it with their own creations and taking benefit from it without realizing that they are destroying it. I saw Mother Nature unleashing its wrath and rage by releasing tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods and earthquakes onto the Earth one by one. Along with destruction and devastation I felt a blend of emotions and feelings in the atmosphere of the world which ranged from grief, sorrow to love and happiness. Besides chaos and havoc which has always stuck with the world since its birth, I witnessed people of all ages enjoying their life and sharing love amongst each other during days worth celebration and fun. While at same time people were comforting each other for their losses and showing respect to those whom need it.
In a world where both good and evil exist, it may seem like evil is of no use to the world and the world would be better without it. But evil does serve one function to the world, which is to motivate the good of the world to rise up against it. Many problems and issues exist in society and in the whole world altogether, but the existence of these very problems and issues give the good, reasons to be good. As this world is not perfect and is never meant to be, it is because of this very reason why there have to be evils in this world for which we have to deal with and use as an example to improve ourselves in order to be not like them. As absurd as it may seem the same evils of our world motivate and unite the ordinary people to rise up and to put an end to the evils of this world even if it means at the cost of their own lives.
Either way Good or bad, we all have a role to play in this world which is determined by how we want to shape our lives. Till now from what I have learnt, the greatest evil of this world is nothing but the evil inside of you. If you can succeed in diminishing the evils inside you than instead of contributing to the chaos in the world you will be removing it.
I discovered many things while on my path but in the end most of my questions about life never got answered, that is because they never needed to. Life is a mystery indeed and that is a fact known to everyone, do not waste too much of your time in trying to figure it out as time is the only valuable possession you have in life. I think of this as one of the most valuable pieces of my knowledge. Time passed and I came upon another stunning realization. I realized that in a fascinating way life in its most basic form is meaningless. As bold as a statement this may be, it is just another way of looking at things. But it does not end there. Feelings and emotions in this world can be considered as mere distractions or interferences for our hearts so that we may not have the chance to actually go into depth and understand this realization. At the same time our faiths and beliefs that we all have are there for us just because we need them as without them we would have no reason to live at all. All of this however is another angle to look at the world. In order to understand something we need to look at in every possible angle just so to make sure that we have made no mistake in understanding it.
A more optimistic and much more refined approach to life would be to consider our feelings and emotions not as distractions but instead as tools that we can use to give meaning to not only our lives but also to the lives of many others. Along with our feelings and emotions we should not forget the essence of our beliefs, faiths and values as they fuel our perception of the world and are the basis behind all that we stand for. Giving meaning to life may be hard, but it is certainly not impossible. The amount I have learnt through my time is just a drop in the vast and never-ending ocean of knowledge.
I am currently watching the sun setting slowly and steadily along with a slight drizzle and some wind. I am peacefully floating above a tremendous field of various different kinds of flowers from roses and daisies to tulips; a truly magnificent sight it is. I feel my time has come to fade away into the sky and merge with it. I end my journey here, happily.
“True happiness lies in the heart of some of the most ordinary moments.”
By: Shahvir Ahmed