Look! Up in the Sky!
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you ready for some praise and worship? You are? Well, WOOT!
(WOOT is the new Hallelujah. Change with the times, already!)
It's high time ... and I mean high time ... that we had a friendly interview with a bored god. Honestly, you'd think we'd forgotten our mission statement or something.
The bored god we've invited today can get out of hand sometimes and be quite destructive. But you know what? Life and death being what they are, if you get killed by this God's work, it won't be the worst way to go.
The God in question is Catequil, sacred to the Inca peoples. Please give a warm, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Catequil! WOOT!
Anne: Catequil, you were busy here in New Jersey yesterday. Your thunderclouds flooded every major artery that I needed to travel in order to pick The Heir up from her job.
Catequil: Hey. Wait a minute. I thought this was "praise and worship!" Are you complaining?
Anne: Not on Your eternal life, I'm not! I swear I could hear the plants in my back yard drinking up the water. We needed every drop of that inch-and-a-half rainstorm.
Catequil: Thank you. I endeavor to give satisfactory deluges.
Anne: Job well done, Mighty God! But you know, Catequil, I think all the NORADS and Dopplers and such have taken some of the magic out of sky-gazing. People still get all steamed up over stars and eclipses and meteor showers (I'm guilty as charged on that), but I think the fine mystical experience of cloud-watching has not gotten its share of press.
Catequil: Here's what I have to say to that!
Anne: Now, now. This is not how to win friends and influence people! I'm trying to interest my readers in the finer arts of cloud appreciation. In order for me to do that, you need to be less confrontational and more "with the flow."
Catequil: Oh, no one understands cloud-gazing anymore! In the eons before barometers, radar, and telegraphs, wise men and women interpreted the clouds and could thereby predict the weather. Nowadays even the school children don't learn about Cumulonimbus and Stratus clouds!
Anne: I learned them.
Catequil: In an elective high school science class.
Anne: That was a chippin class, Catequil. You see? I don't remember much about the 1970s, but I do remember Mr. Brown teaching us about cloud types. Combine that with all the afternoons spent lying on a blanket on Polish Mountain, staring up at the ....
Catequil: Don't you dare say clouds! I know you were buzzard-watching!
Anne: It's a big sky. Clouds, buzzards ... all is good. If I may be serious for a moment...
Catequil: Go ahead and try. I'd like to be in on this "first."
Anne: I just want to praise You and thank You, O holy Catequil, for the dramatic pre-thunderclouds and fully-formed thunderclouds, and shift-shaping Nimbus clouds, and puffy soft Cumulus clouds that you blew across the horizons of my life this week. I absolutely marveled at Your creations. Yes, modern science can explain every little twist and turn of colliding pressure systems, but the human eye -- and the human heart -- can still thrill to the miracle of clouds.
Catequil (scornful): Now your airplanes fly right through them.
Anne: Yes, but to me this does not diminish their greatness. It only provides humble humans with a different perspective on a holy creation.
Catequil: I'm starting to like you.
Anne: Well, I've always loved You, and I always will. Let me bore You with one little naval gaze before you head over to Africa.
Catequil: I've got time.
Anne: Glad to hear it. Okay, so here's the story:
Our house on Polish Mountain looked out to the west, and so did Uncle Earl's. Uncle Earl had a better view, but basically we all knew when a thunderstorm was coming ... We could literally watch it cross over Warrior's Ridge and advance up the valley and overtop the houses.
One evening, a whopper of a thunderstorm came roaring through just minutes before sundown. As it passed over, the sun came out on the far side of it. The setting sun turned everything -- everything -- magenta. Then crimson. Then lilac. Then violet. The clouds were magenta, and the weeds in the pasture were magenta!
We were all bustling around. Grandma and I were clearing the dinner dishes, Granddad had gone to the shed. But when those colors started turning the world into a natural Purple Haze, everything just ground to a halt, and we stood there admiring Your work, O mighty Catequil!
As soon as the magic sunset passed, and the thunder roared off to the east, Uncle Earl and Aunt Belle walked over from their house. Uncle Earl was the oldest of Granddad's family, and he said he'd never seen a sunset like that in his life.
Uncle Earl looked at me and said, "Anne Janette, you may never see another sunset that magnificent as long as you live."
So far he is correct, and almost 40 years have passed since that evening.
Catequil, I know the science behind cloud formations, but I still see Your work in them. Clouds are sacred things, mighty things, holy things. We who cannot be You must salute You. Thanks be to You, again, for the beauty and nourishment of Your holy clouds this past week!
Catequil: You're welcome. But you might want to go back and edit that anecdote. Little more of your name in there than you usually allow.
Anne: It's okay. I'm not going to change my uncle Earl's words. He was a Titan among men, and that's what he called me.
Catequil: Suit yourself. Oh say. Can I get a glass of water for the road? I'm parched.
Anne: How about if I fill the bathtub?
Catequil: If it's not too much trouble.
All glory, laud, and honor to Catequil, God of clouds! Next time you see the sky, blow a kiss to this fabulous deity. That's not moisture up there, it's mystery.