I entered the airport in Brasilia and looked around with excitement. It was the last day of my mission, and I was returning to my hometown in another part of Brazil by airplane—my first time flying!
I could see dark clouds and drizzling rain outside the airport windows, and I looked hopefully for any break in the clouds. I wanted the sky to be blue and the day to be sunny so I would be able to see the cities, the mountains, the forests, and everything else we would fly over. “When you fly,” others had told me, “things look so tiny.” I wanted to feel like the birds feel and see the things they see when they fly so high.
After the plane took off, I peered out the window eagerly. But the closer we got to the clouds, the stronger the rain pounded down. I shrugged my shoulders and sighed with disappointment: I couldn’t see anything. My first plane trip is turning into a flop, I thought, turning away from the window.
All of a sudden, the airplane passed through the clouds, and the sun’s rays shone brightly through the window, catching my attention. When I looked out the window, I saw a sky so intensely blue that it hurt my eyes. The clouds below us were a cotton blanket of spectacular whiteness. I wanted to jump out and run on top of them.
For two hours I stared at the wondrous world around me, amazed that above the dense clouds and storms that had assaulted my vision was such beauty and light. When the airplane eventually dropped below the clouds and into the gray again, I had almost forgotten the storm below.
Since that day, I have passed through many storms in my life, including the pain and loneliness of losing my mother. But I know that there is a purpose for the storms; I know what lies above the clouds.