Saturday, February 27, 2010

Be The Cloud

My son, serving amongst the Spanish speaking people in Phoenix, Arizona for the last two years, wrote this to me in his next-to-last letter home, “I just did what I was supposed to do, there's no possible way I could have convinced any of these people to support the church or to join it. It all belongs to the Savior.”

It reminded me of the briefest moment I had with my oldest daughter when she was five. We had stopped at a light and I heard her from the back seat say, “look, a rainbow”. The sky was mostly sunny, just bursts of large white fluffy clouds here and there, so I didn’t pay attention, but she was relentless, what children do best, and I finally made an effort to see where she was pointing. Sure enough, there was a rainbow. Not a huge one, just a bit of one reflecting off single cloud. That was all she needed, she just added her imagination to fill in the rest. All she needed was that cloud to be in the right place at the right time and one of the most magical phenomenon of childhood was hers.

So my son now understands what I call the “Cloud Principle”. On our own we can’t create a rainbow, but if we are in the right place at the right time, we can reflect the most magical thing of all-God’s love. I don't think there is any criteria for what kind of cloud we need to be, small, large, grumpy, fluffy, in my case pear shaped with a bit of chocolate on my chin. We just need to rise to the occasion and be the cloud.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


When I grow up, I want to be just like Melba. Melba lives all by herself down the street from us in a little brick rambler, where the leaves are always carefully raked away. And for a visual here, there is not much more to her than the rake she goes after that yard with. She is one-good-wind-would-blow-her-away thin, very soft spoken, and when she smiles, which is almost always, her wrinkles, which have wrinkles, all move gently upwards in a gracious sweeping gesture that just makes you just want to hug her...gently.

And she is always there. Not at her home, I mean if there is a ward party, she is there. If there is a Relief Society event, she is there. Of course she is at church every week, but not just for the first hour, she’s there for all three hours. If there is a family event, and she has one of those huge Mormon family things going on, she is there. Her job in our ward is to publish the Ward Newsletter. So she is everywhere, collecting all of the good stuff. Births are announced with wonder, deaths are encased with sincere and eloquent mourning. Every new calling in the ward, right down to the latest Beehive President, is heralded with the same celebration as upcoming nuptials. She can be seen late at night through the window of her study, diligently typing to meet her deadline.

If there are volunteers needed, yep, you guessed it, there she is. Canning, there. DI, there. A sign up clip board went around recently asking for volunteers to clean the Salt Lake Temple, but cleaning didn’t begin until 10 pm and would go until midnight or later. I was so impressed with myself for signing up until Melba called and asked if she could ride with me. Just like the Energizer Bunny with a grey wig, she keeps on going and going and going.

Yep, I want to be just like that when I grow up. I think my kids will gladly rake my yard for me if I it were possible that I could be half that cheerful someday. I just tell them if I get to be too much to handle, they can just roll me out on the front porch and let me swear at the cars as they go by.