I love clouds!
For many years I said that I preferred the night to the day.
Of course, it must be noted, that for almost twenty of my over thirty two year career at SIU…I worked nights.
Mary Jane and I visited Portland, Oregon, several years ago. We loved the laid back lifestyle and the scenic beauty and the jazz…and I loved the clouds.
It was a work related trip to Portland, and so I told my Director, Harry Wirth, that we had enjoyed the city so much…we were thinking about relocating there when we retired. Harry, noted that it rains in Portland much of the year. I responded that would be perfect for my taste!
Clouds and rain and gloomy days…are a metaphor for life…to me.
The wonderful all encompassing magnificence of the sun and it’s illumination is always so welcome…but it is not illustrative of life in it’s infinite shadows.
Clouds and storms can be comforting…when your faith assures you that it is always darkest before the dawn.
You will forgive me if I liken this analogy to my University? There have been clouds of lack of resources, or no money,…and there have been clouds of changes in leadership…and clouds of a lack of focus or Vision…and clouds of not fully appreciating the complete value of each and every student that attends SIU.
But, as in life, so as in the life of Southern Illinois University…the sun comes out again…and hope is renewed…and a rededication to the fundamentals that made our School great!
A wonderful poem that my father-in-law, Berl, quoted me was;
“Don’t You Quit”
‘When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned to late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.’
It seems that…the joy and the sorrow…jubilation and sadness….energy and health and pain and suffering…go together to comprise our life experience.
Clouds are important and they are lovely!