These two simple words bring up two images in my mind. One is delightfully intriguing; the other is a poor example of man’s lack of caring for his brothers and sisters.
I don’t want to dwell on the negative side, only to remind myself of the ungodly treatment of our Black brothers and sisters. The other is the wonderful dance of the 1920’s, also performed mostly by our Black brothers and sisters. I have seen this dance, not danced it, I’m not that talented. It makes no sense to me. Although growing up in the 1950’s, I was more accustomed to the stroll and the lively twist along with Chubby Checker.
I am bringing this up from a recent trip my wife and I made to Pennsylvania to watch our grandson play lacrosse. I have to say the weather was terrible, rain, rain, and a little more rain. We went through the mountains of West Virginia through clouds that seemed to touch the top of our car. The bottoms of the clouds, our new skylight was pitch black, as the bottom of thunderclouds are.
Now, you might say that this was disheartening, but it was far from it. It was beautiful. I am overjoyed when I sit and admire the sunny days with birds and squirrels bickering over the feeders around our patio. These simple pleasures are God’s thank you(s) for feeding his flock. But when I sit under black-bottomed clouds, I am intrigued by the passions they bring out. I look at the billowing white, mountainous crowns and the pitch-black bottoms and am in awe of the variety and mixture of nature’s beauty.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a pessimist who belabors negative thoughts. I find it comforting to take my family, huddle in a house that will protect us (I pray). And awaiting the coming storm with torrential rain and winds that could be hurricane or tornado strength. But I also know that rain will nurture the soils for new plantings, and the rains and winds will cleanse our worlds. And we will be renewed in the following sunlight.
The black bottom of song and weather nourishes our lives.
©Russell Kendall Carter
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