Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


Staircase to the Clouds

Once upon a time, there lived a girl who dreamed of living in the clouds. She was but a poor peasant toiling away in the fields all the day long. In the summer, the hot sun would beat down upon her and scorch her neck and parch her lips. In the winter, the fierce winds and icy sleet would whip her slight body and inflict pain at the first--until the cold numbed her limbs to feeling. Rare were those perfect days--the cool, foggy mornings, when the ugliness was concealed and the beauty popped out like never before. The world seemed so peaceful on those mornings; she could only see a step ahead of her, and yet it calmed her to not see the sprawling acres of land waiting to be hoed.

And on Sundays--the one day of the week when she didn't have to work--she would lie on her back in the woodlands and stare up at the sky. It was such a delightful thought to think of somehow capturing that beautiful foggy cloudiness and living within its peaceful confines. It would be soft--so soft. It would afford an excellent view. It would be unusual and different and clean and comforting.

"Hello Miss!"

The girl jumped from her reverie to look up at a young man--the funniest she had ever seen. He was wearing a roughly woven green tunic that ended in a zig-zag hem. Underneath the tunic, his two long, skinny, bow-legged legs protruded, covered in purple britches that billowed and ended at his knees. His easy grin revealed a missing tooth; his face was sharp and skinny; and his eyes were a vivid green that sparkled with life.

"Whatcha' dreamin' of?" He asked impishly.

For some reason, this girl trusted him, so she answered simply and without fear of being made fun of, "The clouds. I wish I could live in one."

"Have ye tried?" The man asked matter-of-fact.

"Oh!" The girl laughed. "How does one go about trying to live in a cloud?"

"On the day next, when the fog rolls in thick, it's the clouds comin' down to earth itself. On those days, you do live in a cloud!"

"Oh!" said the girl again, because she wasn't sure what to say. "But I want to live in a cloud in the sky--with no solid ground beneath my feet."

"Well that's a trick, now, ain't it!" The man exclaimed, not as if he didn't know the answer, but as if he wasn't sure he wanted to give it. He looked at her for a few minutes in a brown study before saying anything else. "Come with me, then."

The girl wasn't sure if she was silly or smart, but she went with him. He led her far deeper into the woodlands than she had ever gone before. She lost sight, in fact, of the clouds--even of the sky and the sun. The woods had grown so dark, she felt as though it must be dusk, even though there was still several hours before the sun set. Finally, her practicality prevailed over her faith. "Sir! Where are you taking me?"

Fog ... or did we walk into a cloud?

"To the staircase to the clouds, miss, to be sure! Where else did ye suppose?"

The girl was afraid to ask any more questions, so she kept following him, through bramble and brush, through creeks and over hills. Finally, he stopped at the biggest oak tree she had ever seen. It was bigger around than her outstretched arms could measure--it seemed nearly as big as her small hut! And its height knew no end, for it seemed to continue through the forest canopy until her eyes could no longer see any farther.

The man jumped into the first branch and began to climb with energy, so the girl followed him. Ever so soon, however, the man began to climb farther and faster than her.

"Please, sir! Don't leave me! I need you to show me the way!"

"Miss," he called down from his perch far above her, "I have shown ye the way! It's up to ye now."

She climbed and climbed, and soon after, lost sight of the strange man. Her muscles ached, and her chest heaved, but still she pressed on. The branches did not grow smaller and weaker as she went on--they remained just as sturdy as the bottom branches. And then, all in one moment, a still, white, beautiful fog surround her. She had reached the sky and found herself in a cloud.

She took a step off the tree and found that the cloud supported her. She jumped and found that the cloud caught her. She breathed and found the moist, cool air so refreshing. She laid down and found the cloud softer than the newest feather mattress. She tasted and found the cloud deliciously satisfying. And then, all of a sudden, she felt a wonderful warmth on her body. She crawled to the top of the cloud and peeked out, and was met by the sun. Its beautiful rays warmed and invigorated her.

"Hello, sun!" she said. "It's so nice to see you." And she laughed to think about how much she had hated the sun. It was so beautiful from her cloud, as was nearly everything. Our girl lived in that cloud for the rest of her life--though to be sure, she came down to solid ground every day to work and perform her duties. But it was in discovering the joys of cloud-dwelling that she came to appreciate the beauty of everything else too. From her cloud, she no longer minded the sun, the rain, the snow, or the wind. Her view had changed, and in it, everything else seemed to have changed as well.

#1 Photo Credit: PhotoAtelier
#2 Photo Credit: Vivek

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