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Personal essay and photo story: Caught up in the clouds

By Frank Tilley
July 26, 2012 at 2:26 a.m.
Updated July 29, 2012 at 2:29 a.m.

A photo technique called HDR, or high definition resolution was used for this image. A series of camera images shot from a tripod are taken in a bracket from under to over exposed, then the files are compiled together in a software application to create a unique dynamic image.

Clouds have always held a special meaning to me. Their billowing shapes dance across the heavens, and I often wonder if angels are sitting on the edge looking down upon us, like ants scurrying about.

The last few years have been an incredible period in my life as I journey on the path.

There have been many moments, too many in fact, when I have allowed myself to sulk and dwell on thoughts where I was the center of life, focused on the secular question of, "Why me, why now, why not now?" Approaching the outer bands of the twilight years, they aren't exactly what I had hoped for.

I seem positioned in a life with more debt and less wealth than planned for. Nonetheless, that is judging life measured by material wealth.

I profess, I didn't clearly see why, until recently, that God was showing me how rich and wonderful life is, through the simple majesty of an evening cloud or a sunset filled with warm hues.

A reading from Saint Paul to the Thessalonians contains these holy words, "For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words."

Now, when I look into an incredible cloud formation, I know that God is inviting me to seek him.

When that day comes and I am lifted up into the air, I anxiously await to see what lies beyond the clouds that I have gazed at for such a long time.

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