To all those who think they can buy happiness with money…

I’m not the first nor the last person in the world who is writing about the relationship between money and happiness. Some people go as far as to oppose happiness to money and money to happiness, so they can painlessly articulate their urgent need for money or happiness. Well, I won’t speak in terms of opposition but rather tell you a story that you may find thoughtful.

Enjoying the late afternoon on an early spring day, I’m looking out of my window toward the mountains near Sofia. I’m in a good and contemplative mood, so I decide to put on paper what I see… It’s quite exciting, and reality seems so tangible, and I feel exclusively real…

I clearly see the contrast between the solid dark body of the mountain and the ephemeral substance of the clouds. They catch my attention. Have you noticed the clouds of early spring? They represent nature activity: vivid, moving, growing, and constantly changing… but I see even more.

I see cotton-like, white and clean clouds that tell me the story of snowdrops reaching out for light. Then I see darker pieces of atmosphere which bear the burden of cold days and the threat of an upcoming storm. Suddenly they mix in a palette of colors varying from the gray of dirty snow to the purple light of the setting sun.

I love looking at the clouds: they are a never-ending source of beauty and cure for most soul aches. I keep looking at them, and I’m amazed by the numerous shapes they can take. Over a lonely peak (still holding its snowy cap) I observe a nebula-like mass of clouds as if I’m gazing at the cosmos. Then I see clouds that took the form of a fleet plowing the sea… Then a small piece of atmosphere – white as cotton – took the form of a nymph trying to hide in the depths of the forest…

Some clouds radiate the blue cold of an Arctic ice to remind us of winter, others reflect the soft light of a reborn Sun ready to give life to Earth. But all swiftly passing by, ever-changing, mysterious and full of hope…

I’m still looking at the clouds, but there’s not much to see: I realize the gloom of the night has fallen, and the magic of clouds is gone. I feel a little bit empty, not sad. I wish I could have bought these clouds… But I can’t. Because clouds are not for sale.