The Legend of Cloud and Her Mama, Part 1

My Mama, Caron McCloud, recently participated in one of our online classes, Leading A legendary Life. During the course there is a fair amount of writing that needs to happen — and she wrote this incredible story. The next five mondays you will get one chapter of Cloud and Her Mama delivered to your inbox. Are you ready for the insight into my creative beginnings – well here is more than you ever wanted to know! My mom, is my best friend, and I am humbled and tickled by these sharings…thanks Mom. I am super blessed and I know it.

The Legend of Cloud and Her Mama
By Caron McCloud

Chapter One

Once upon a time, not all that long ago or far away, there was a little girl whose name was Cloud. She really liked her name and never went through a phase of making up new names for herself like a lot of her friends did. Not even when everybody laughed when the principal in Mendocino read off the names of the kids in her eighth grade graduating class, “Cinnamon, Lavender, Truck, Cowboy, Misty, Cloud, Star, River…”

Cloud had a lot of unruly blonde hair that Cloud’s mama said, “lived a life of its own.” Her mom would get it lassoed and all tied down and then before they could even get out the door it would just leap up and break free with such force that her mom said you could hear it go BOING!

Cloud had dimples even when she wasn’t smiling, which is a good thing because she was pretty serious for a little girl. It did make her smile though when her mom would tell her, “When God made you, she was so pleased with what she had made that she touched your cheek with her finger right there.” And her mom would touch her dimple.

Cloud’s mama was clear that her child’s maker was very pleased with what she’d made, and often remarked that Cloud just kept, as she put it, “…blowing me away!” She said that if she believed in reincarnation she’d think Cloud had been her mother in their last life and liked telling the story of a particular morning when Cloud was about three and had come, as usual, and gotten in bed with her. They had fallen back to sleep with Cloud up high on the pillow, the way she liked, with her arm around her mama’s neck. Her mom says she was awakened by the sound of the front door opening and figured it was her own mama who was supposed to be coming over that morning. So she called out to her. “Mama? Mama?” She said that Cloud was sound asleep but started patting her with her little dimpled hand, saying, “It’s okay Honey. It’s okay. Go back to sleep now.”

Another story Cloud’s mama liked to tell to as to why the Creator might have given Cloud those dimples was one that happened when Cloud was in the first grade. It was Halloween and Cloud wanted to go to the costume party as Fire. Her mama did her best with all shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold crepe paper, with just a touch of blue. Her mama was a perfectionist and wasn’t entirely happy with the final product and suggested that maybe Cloud should go instead as a Fringe Benefit. But Cloud knew she was Fire. Cloud wasn’t a perfectionist. Never would be. Would come to think it as a real detriment to the creative process.

Well, one of Cloud’s little friends was a fairy and Cloud thought she was absolutely beautiful and was so happy for her when she won first prize. When they got home, Cloud’s mama said, “I’ll bet Tamarack was really excited about getting first prize.”

“No,” said Cloud, “Not really.”

“What?! How could she not be excited?”

Cloud explained, “Well Mama, Tamarack gets to tell her mother to shut up. How can she ever get excited about anything?”

Then there was the time when Cloud was about seven and she and her mama were in a big disagreement. It really upset her mama because in the past whenever they disagreed and the mama put her hands on her hips and started scolding, Cloud would just throw herself across the room and wrap her arms around her mama’s legs. Her mama would put her arms around her, nothing would get solved, but everything would be just fine.

This time was different. As things heated up Cloud held her ground, put her own hands on her own hips and said, “You know Mama, we don’t always have to agree on everything.”

Her mom was stunned, and just stood there looking at Cloud for a few minutes before she put her arms around Cloud and said, “I’m going to have to think about that.”

And folks say that she did think about it and, as a matter of fact, was still thinking about it when they were both old.

~ ~ ~

Caron McCloud writes and performs poetry, and is a member of the Washington Poet’s Association where she has been a semi-finalist in the “Bart Baxter Performance Poetry” competition three out of three tmes entered, and in 2000, besides winning a “Carlin Aden Award” for her Alexandrian sonnet, Last Trump Tango, she was 1st place winner of the “Charlie Proctor Award” for her poem Holmes Ranch Hags, which she also read as the introduction for the Alice Walker/Sue Sellars event “Neighbors and Artists.” She was a participant in the “PoetSpeak Reading Series” at Frye Art Museum in Seattle, with poems published in “PoetsWest Literary Journal.” Her poem Common Ancestry was 1 of 14 of the 400 contest entries selected to be included in the poetry contest periodical, “Saltwater.” She has been a guest on several radio shows, and was a reader for the poetry collection by J. Glenn Evans CD, “Windows in the Sky,” which is periodically played in Washington on PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, Besides publications in various other venues she has over a dozen chap books to her credit, and has recently published RACHEL’S BAG In Search of the Qabalah of Our Mothers, a book about the radical actions of Old Testament women, for which her youngest daughter Shiloh did the introduction, the cover, and the illustrations. McCloud is currently working on a book on Qabalah, Living the Tree of Life, to be used in a workshop format.