It had been a month since we had seen each other. Now we were traveling across the island in his van. Dark, puffy clouds created amazing paintings in the sky while red and yellow leaves formed borders below them. Suddenly, the light from an unexpected sun break plastered a rainbow from one end of the island to the other. We watched all this respectfully, using words only when needed or social custom demanded.
Those of us in the Pacific Northwest appreciate the clouds as much as the sun breaks. You have to in order to live here. Otherwise you’d become as crazy as someone living in Southwest who could see only brown in the desert. There's beauty in everything, whether people realize it or not. You just have to take the time to look for it.
Soon the rainbow disappeared, and the clouds morphed into new creations. With no remote or mouse for the sky, we tried to soak these visions into our brains the way raindrops were soaking into the ground and being stored up for later. Before long, our memory cells were full.
"So," I asked, "are any members of your family in the play at the Community Theatre?"
"Oh, yes," he replied enthusiastically. "My daughter is one of the rats."
Not quite sure how to respond to a father's obvious pride over his daughter being cast as a rat in a holiday musical, I pretended to watch more clouds. Fortunately, he saw no need for further comment, and the silence was comforting. Soon we arrived at our destination. I paid him my fare, and he drove off to pick up another customer.
The next night, I attended the play. Sure enough, there was his daughter performing as one of the rats and clearly enjoying every moment of it. It was beautiful to behold. Then I understood why her father had been so proud of her being cast in this role. There’s beauty in everything, whether you realize it or not. You just have to look for it.