Ivan the Little Cloud, Part 1
The Little Cloud that Couldn't Rain
A little cloud is created. Being small, different, and not knowing who he is, he finds it difficult to be accepted. In time, a mystery is revealed. Only then, does the little cloud begin to grow and discover something astonishing.
There in the distant sky a tiny cloud was born. Its mother and father, however, had passed away as winter came had come to an end. The little cloud wonders to itself, “Could it be that I am a Stratus Cloud? But how, I am much too small.”
“Maybe I am a Cirrus Cloud? But how, I do not fly high enough.”
“Perhaps I am a Cumulus Cloud? But no, I am not puffy enough.”
“I know, I know.” The little cloud said, “I must be a Nimbus Cloud!” However, the little cloud produced no rain.
Glancing in every direction, as far as the eye could see, the little cloud noticed enormous clouds. Then, looking at itself, it began to ponder, “Why am I so different?”
Being smaller, it knew it would never do what they could do. No matter where it went, it never fit in for the other clouds would not accept it. Providing less shade than the other clouds, it began to feel useless. And because it could not provide rain, the little cloud started believing that it did not deserve to be a cloud.
As the little cloud hovered daily in the sky, it saw a homeless man, a drifter, working in the scorching heat, day after day. “I can be of some use,” the cloud thought aloud, “I will provide shade for this old man and follow him wherever he goes.” Many days and many nights, the little cloud hovered over the drifter. Whenever the drifter found shelter, the little cloud patiently waited for him to come back into the open to provide coverage.
The old man took notice of the same cloud that followed him everywhere he went. “Perhaps someone cares for me and delights in who I am,” said the drifter gazing toward the tiny cloud far above.
As the man wandered through the desert, the cloud followed from above. Although it couldn’t provide rain, the little cloud started to feel good about itself knowing it provided the much needed shade. After his travels, the old man was glad to have found work in a grain field. The little cloud, full of compassion, protected him.
“Maybe, if you’re lucky that it rains,” said the quartermaster to the old man, “you can return to work next week to pick more wheat.” Yet, it did not rain. Not a drop was seen. The drifter fell to his knees, put his ear to the ground hoping to hear for thunder. He climbed up a tree, only to see, not one nimbus cloud was seen.
As the week drew to the end, the little cloud noticed the old man’s face was stressed and downcast. Without work and having nothing to eat, the old man scoured through the trash bins to fill his stomach. The little cloud, ashamed of the old man, did not desire to be seen near him.
Shortly after leaving, the little cloud changed its mind and headed to the grain field where it hovered above, shaking itself. Not so much as a drop of water formed. Yet an outpour of laughter was heard from the large clouds watching from above.
The little cloud took off toward a mountain where it could blend in with the snow. The old man, however, had grown accustomed to the cloud, and was curious as to where it went. He searched for it and saw it fleeing from the other clouds.
“Why did you leave?” the drifter asked, “You provided me with shade during the day, and during the night you watched over me. Each morning you were ready and waiting for me.” The little cloud did not respond but continued to flee. “What’s your name?” the man yelled, continuing in pursuit.
The cloud slowed down as it lost its strength, “I am a cloud without a name and without a purpose. I am too small to provide shade and I have never produced rain. There is nothing more that I can do. Why do you care? You’re just a drifter. Now please, let me be.” The cloud retorted, as it slowly picked up speed.
“I knew your mother and your father,” yelled the man while he watched the cloud come to a halt.
“What can you tell me about them?” the cloud asked, flying closer.
“They were the greatest rain clouds in their time. Trees were taller, fruit was abundant, and water was plentiful. But since they have departed, there have been droughts throughout the lands. Trees are now smaller, fruit is not as plentiful as it once was, and water has become scarce.” The man paused and then continued, “Many have suffered because no one has risen to take their place.” The cloud became sad, wondering what it might have learned from a great cloud like its mother and father.
“In fact, I know the name your parents desired to give you.” The cloud drew near, almost within arm’s reach. “Your name is Ivan, which means a life of scarceness before a life of abundance and magnificent grace.”
Heavy burdens of shame lifted from the little cloud as he looked at the old man with eager eyes. The little cloud’s countenance began to change, and confidence was forming within, “Who are you?”
“I am the one who created you. I am the one who made your parents.”
Ivan began to grow and expanded many times larger and stronger. Sparkles began to form beneath his eyes.
“Why did you take my parents away from me?” Ivan questioned, still growing.
“Their time had come and you are most fortunate to have been born, for they had expended all their energy to save many lives by providing water. You are all that is left of them.” The old man lets his words to sink in and then continued, “Without water – that is, without you – people will not survive. They need you just as I need you.”
While the old man was still speaking, Ivan grew and grew and grew into a mighty cloud.
“I’m raining! I’m raining!” Ivan watched, as his tears fell upon the earth.
“You may have looked lowly upon yourself, but I have always known who you really are. Of all the clouds that I created, was it not you who provided me shade? I tell you, if you were not small and alone, you would not have known me.
“Now is the time for you to become who you are meant to be. The days of your scarceness and shame are over. Those who wish to be great must also be willing to be small, and those who wish to be the greatest of all must be willing to be the smallest of all. Know you know why I made you so small to begin with. I knew that when your time came you would believe in my son.
“I was the one who gave you little so that you would experience scarcity throughout your youth, and therefore come to me with your need. With delight, I placed difficulties upon you to see how you would cope and to determine just how strong your hope was. It was I who withheld your name and desires from you that you would go through life and endure.”
Ivan delighted in the old man’s words, which brought much comfort. Ivan grew so massive that he surpassed giant mountains. Hovering higher in the sky, he looked upon his shadow and marveled at how immense he had become. Ivan was about to speak when the old man said, “You are only as great as you desire to be.”
Author: Keith Yrisarri Stateson
Creative Editors and Editors: Teresa Garcia Stateson, Aniekan Udoh
Names are listed alphabetically within each field, regardless of the amount an individual contributed.