Look up at the night sky

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

When was the last time you looked up at the night sky or woke up early enough to hear a Chuck will widow cry?

Can you recall the last time you paused and just watched the world pass you by? 

Somewhere on a porch by Horseshoe Lake in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, Mr. Wallace is sitting out on a porch. He’s smiling as he hears the tree frogs signal a sunset, turning every now and then on a barstool with a cigarette puffing in his hand.  

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Out on the lake the wind ruffles through his gray curly hair. A smile widens on his face as he races to his fishing spot. The same wind sweeps through a Sierra window as he rolls down the highways checking the water levels. 

He has mastered the art of living in the moment. Although he is far from perfect I imagine he is just following the footsteps of Papaw Grady. 

Life is tough sometimes, and this past week I’ve been reminded how much it helps when you have others to carry the load. My colleague has been out sick, shifting around the responsibilities in the office.

It has been hard for a few reasons. I hate staying in the office; it is cold and the AC drives me crazy.  I’m not able to get out and be in the community I report on as much, as we try to get more done with fewer people and still take care of our customers who come to the office.

This weekend I took a mental break and went fishing at Lake Lincoln where I saw an alligator and four herons. Sunday, I tried to relax in the woods while fighting off mosquitoes. 

Monday, the world came back and hit me like a freight train. It’s my fault. I was a little off-keel going into supervisors and walked away with so many stories. I’m still working on a few. 

Monday afternoon I messed up on calculating change and got flustered. To the customer, I owe you an apology and 50 cents.

Monday evening, I went to the wrong church for a political forum, and 5:25 pm is not a good time to learn St. Paul is not the Catholic Church on second street but the Missionary Baptist Church four blocks north. 

I walked in the door to greet my wife and was mentally exhausted. I ate dinner and put down my phone and then walked out to my truck and laid down. Looking up, I saw two stars beam and was blown away as more and more appeared with each passing minute. 

Mondays happen and sometimes it helps to just take a breath, step back and look up at the night sky. Drive home with the window down or sit back in a kayak and watch with amusement as a gator swims along. 

Tomorrow begins a new day and, Lord willing, I’ll take it and make the most of it. I’ll try to remember to live in the moment and find joy in the little things like the old man in coveralls, splitting ax in his hand, looking at a stack of firewood and with a grin. 

Hunter Cloud is a reporter for The Daily Leader. Email him at hunter.cloud@dailyleader.com.