I am a free spirit in the sky. I guess you can say I am a white person if that is politically correct. Probably not, but whatever. Actually, I don’t really know what to solely call myself. Some days I am a fish, some days I am an elephant, some days I am a bunny, and other days I am a clover. My companions come in all different shapes.
I remember when I first met my heart-shaped friend. We call her Heart. I was still a young cloud, unaware of life on Earth. Unaware of rain. I saw the other clouds, but I didn’t really interact with them. I was scared and worried that they wouldn’t like me. I was also scared of morphing into other clouds. What would become of me? I wondered. Would I lose myself? My personal identity? It was before I even knew how to transform into different shapes. She was slightly blocking the sun, but the bright sun still gleamed through her white puffiness, creating not only a silvery lining but also a silvery glow. She’s different from the other clouds, I observed.
As shy as I was, I couldn’t help but float towards her. We talked about the sun, the stars, and the moon. At first, we couldn’t stop floating nor talking; then, after a while, we didn’t need to talk. We simply just enjoyed each other’s company in silence.
We floated to an area with very few clouds (other than us), and were able to see what was below. It was a city. The buildings were electrically lit up. They gleamed different colors from the stars: red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink, you name it. Surrounding this colorful city were suburbs, deserts, and tall brown and gray mountains. And then I saw its inhabitants! Humans, dogs, cats, squirrels, birds, lizards, and even rats!
“What are they like?” I asked Heart.
“Humans?” Heart replied. “They live on the land with animals.”
“And what are those things?”
“Houses. Humans live in them.”
“Do the animals live in the houses with the humans?”
“No, most of them live elsewhere.”
“Trees or bushes or the mountains or the desert. But cats and dogs tend to live with the humans in their houses.”
I made a daily routine of floating with Heart. We would talk for a bit and then watch the people down below. After watching the people, I learned more about them. I watched them eat their food on the outside tables. I listened to their conversations. I noticed that they identified each other by eyes, hair color, skin color and body shape, similar to how us clouds identify each other through eyes and shape. There were white people, black people, and brown people. But I heard using the terms “black and white” is politically incorrect. I still don’t know entirely why. Humans may be just as, if not more beautiful than us clouds, I reflected. They have hair, something we don’t have. They come in more shapes and sizes, and even colors than the clouds up here! I mean, the buildings and houses come in different colors. Really, the only colors up here are blue and white. I mean every cloud up here has a different eye color, but it’s not the same! I learned how to read the street signs. I learned that the main city I flew over was called Las Vegas and that people played these games to get gold. I couldn’t help but just smile at mothers holding hands with their children. Sometimes the children would let go of balloons and the balloons would float up into the sky where we were. I saw these balloons as presents from the children below. Heart and I chased these balloons, but eventually, for some unknown reason, they would pop. Men, women, and children walked their dogs. Cats roamed the neighborhood streets. Even the cats and dogs came in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Coyotes roamed around the green cacti. Sometimes they ripped up and ate the bunnies and squirrels with their sharp teeth. Red blood gushed. Some of the blood would squirt on the cacti. As bloody of a sight this was, it was intriguing because it was outside of what I knew.
“I’d love to live down there,” I said one day.
“But what about your life up here?” Heart asked. “With me?”
“Maybe you can come down with me.”
“I love it up here. Don’t you?”
“I do, but I also want to explore and discover something different.”
“We can explore up here. All of the clouds here are different shapes. We can look at the different shapes of our fellow clouds.”
“That’s true,” I nodded my cloud body.
“And the stars!” added Heart. “Look at the different constellations! They tell such interesting stories!”
I felt obligated to continue keeping Heart company through nighttime because I could sense that the idea of me leaving her made her upset and scared. That night, we looked at the brightly illuminated constellations. I particularly took note of Leo the Lion with a decent amount of empathy. Leo wants to be energetically wild and free, and Hercules chases after him and tries to kill him, I noted. I wanted to float down to Earth fast like a lion.
The following day I tried to transform into a human. It took a while, about 2 days tops. It was my first voluntary transformation. Sometimes the air and wind can transform the clouds. One time I tried transforming into a lion, but the wind made me look like a cross between a yak and a peacock. Anyway, when I fully modeled the human figure as best I could, I floated down from where the other clouds were to lower in the sky where there were very few clouds. I thought I could float right down to the streets and sidewalks in Vegas, but there was an invisible wall of air preventing me. My cloud body wasn’t strong enough to break through it. In fact, trying to break through it only messed up my human shape. I ended up looking like one of the pancakes I saw someone eating outside of an IHOP.
Disappointed, I flew right back up to where Heart and the other clouds were. It took me awhile to float back up there since I used up most of my energy to transform myself. By the time I got back up into the sky, it was nighttime. I decided to silently look at the constellations with Heart. The constellations were just as bright, if not brighter than the buildings, hotels, and casinos in Vegas.
The next day, all I could look at was Heart. Why should I leave the sky, I thought to myself. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. I love floating with her and looking at the constellations with her. Yeah it seems amazing down there, but I was forgetting what I had up here.
“Do you have a favorite constellation?” I asked Heart.
“I like Pisces. There is something interesting about the shape.”
“I like Leo. There is a wild, fiery energy to him.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Heart asked.
“Would you like to morph into me?”
“Why not, all of the other clouds do it? It is how they express their love and friendship to each other. It is how they stay connected.”
“Would it hurt?” I asked.
“No. Here, I will slowly merge into you.” Heart slowly moved towards me and I drifted backwards.
“No, please,” I defended.
Harper sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Listen, I am too tired,” I said. “It is nighttime. Can we please put this off ‘till tomorrow?”
“Okay,” Harper said quietly.
We went to sleep.
The next day, the weather changed. The sun was not as bright. The clouds changed color, including Heart.
“You look gray,” I observed. “Are you okay?”
“I-I am feeling heavy. I’m sad to see the sun isn’t shining. You look gray too.”
Strong wind gusts came with some sprinkles of water. I never felt wind gusts so strong, in addition to sprinkles of rain, especially in an area of such dry heat. The wind was blowing my Sweet Heart away. We yelled out each other’s names and I tried floating towards her, but the wind was stronger than me and pushing me away too. Rain was new to me, since I floated in an area of very little rain. To me, the wind blowing Heart away from me was the end of the world, so I cried after it happened. I wanted emotional support for my loneliness so I looked for the other clouds. The funny thing was that even though I was the one looking for other clouds, it sort of looked like other clouds were looking for me. A bunch of other clouds huddled around me crying and made one big collective cloud. I felt supported, yet overwhelmed at the same time. Who are these clouds? I wondered. Will they like me? I couldn’t breathe. I knew this would happen, I judged. My body turned into my tears and my wish was unintentionally granted; I landed on the ground of the Earth.
The following day I was a puddle in a garden. In the form of a puddle, I looked up into the sky to see if I could see Heart, but I didn’t.
I heard someone call me. “Hey you! Puddle!” It was a flower. She was bright red with some sprinkles of water on her. Those sprinkles shined.
“I want to say thanks for watering me,” the flower continued.
“Watering you?” I asked with surprise.
“Yeah. You rained on me and now you are a puddle. I have not had a good watering in a really long time. It rarely ever rains here.”
“I thought I was embarrassing myself.”
“Why is that?”
“I was crying up a storm.”
“I’m sorry. Why were you crying?”
“Because the wind blew me away from my best friend.”
“I am so sorry,” the flower said with empathy. “In fact, I felt that way yesterday when my friend was torn out of the ground by Mrs. Lanthimos, the woman in the house.”
“That’s horrible!” I reacted.
“I miss her very bright purple petals. They were the eggplant in my eye.”
“Eggplant in your eye?”
“Usually when I listen to the humans, they say ‘apple of my eye.’”
“I say eggplant because this flower was purple. Mrs. Lanthimos also grows eggplants in this garden. But I never get a chance to speak with them. They are always eaten.”
“Are you ever eaten?”
“That’s good. The other day, I saw a coyote eat a little rabbit.”
“Coyotes are scary. Thank god they are not plant eaters.”
At that moment, I developed both a fear and an interest in life on Earth. The creatures on this planet were hungry and savage for sure. What will become of me here? I wondered. Will I ever return to the sky.
“What’s wrong?” The flower asked. “Do you miss Heart?”
“I do,” I replied. “I hope I return to the sky some day.”
“You will. All puddles evaporate back into air.”
These words made me happy. Of course I could not cry tears of joy because that is what I already was. A shiny teardrop fallen to the ground.
I continued to talk with the beautiful red flower. As we continued speaking, my rain puddle body was slowly shrinking. I was slowly going back into the sky. I looked forward to it.
All of the sudden, Mrs. Lanthimos pulled the beautiful red flower from the ground. The flower screamed. Maybe I shouldn’t trust humans, I judged. But then Mrs. Lanthimos put the red flower in a vase by the open window that her purple friend was sitting in. They looked happy to see each other again.
Sooner or later, I was back in the sky again. There were not too many clouds around. I didn’t even see Heart.
Maybe I should give myself some free time anyway, I reflected. I floated away from that city I did not know the name of. For the first time, it felt really good to float alone. Air was my best friend. I was breathing her in. She welcomed me very nicely. She moved me to where I needed to be. Open air was to me what wide open fields and open roads were to the humans below.
At sunset I discovered a beach with beautiful purple sand. At the beach, I heard singing. I looked down thinking it was a group of humans, but I did not see any. It turns out that it was a whole group of purple clouds peacefully conglomerated together. I knew I had to float over.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hello,” the purple clouds replied.
“What are you doing here?” one of them asked.
I paused. “Roaming,” I replied.
“So are we,” another purple cloud replied.
“This beach is beautiful,” I remarked.
“Isn’t it?” one of the purple clouds responded, but there are so many other beautiful beaches out the in the world. And that big blue body of water...it’s bigger than it looks.”
“Would you like to join us on our journey?” one of the clouds asked.
I hesitated for a couple of seconds. I then thought about how much I liked roaming around in the air. “Yes.” I conglomerated with the other clouds. This time I felt more comfortable, but it was still something I was not so used to. I think that was what I was looking for in the long run, something new.
The purple clouds and I floated over the ocean. We saw dolphins pop out of the water. Together we shifted into the shape of a dolphin. This was probably the first time in my life that I felt purposeful.
And then we floated over a series of rocks. I did not know the name, but I saw a star shaped cloud. I floated right towards the cloud. She looked into my eyes and was delighted to see me.
“I missed you so much,” the star shaped cloud said.
I broke off from the purple clouds so I can look closer into the star-shaped cloud’s eyes. It was Heart.
“Heart!” I exclaimed! “I can’t believe it is you. Should I call you Star now?”
“No, you can still call me Heart. I just wanted to try to transform into a new shape. You know, to explore myself a little more.”
“Oh ok. I transformed myself too. Before I got here, my friends and I actually transformed into a dolphin together.
“Interesting. Can you please introduce me to them?”
“Heart, these my purple cloud friends,” I said, followed by a gasp. I noticed that the purple clouds were no longer purple, but a peachy pink color.
“We are not always purple,” one of the purple-now peach pink-clouds said. “We are purple when we float over Big Sur.”
I realized something. I used to think that clouds only come in one color, plain white, but I was wrong. Clouds are unique in how they change shape and color.
I merged into Heart, but not without fear. To be quite frank, the fear made me more excited to be with her again.
We told Heart about our journey, but then the wind slowly drifted Heart and I away from the purple-now peach pink clouds. I don’t think I ever saw those clouds again. Maybe I did, but I did not take not.
Heart and I now float and rain all over the Earth’s surface. Rural, urban, suburban, forests, jungles, and oceans. We also have made new cloud friends along the way. Clouds of many shapes and sizes, just like us. I am not human, and I am not part of the human race, but that does not matter what “thing” I am. I am glad I am not part of the human race with the war and political battles going on, but that does not mean I hate humans completely. In fact, I love watching people peacefully play in the park with their children. The wars and political battles make me and the other clouds storm more than we would like to; but nonetheless, I wish peace and harmony for the Earth. As long as if I am a part of life, that’s all that matters to me. Yeah, some days I am a cloud, some days I am rain, some days I am a puddle, some days I am in one place, and some days I am in another, but most of all, I am me.