Cloud Illusions

If I could have my way, I would gladly spend my days wistfully watching the clouds. If I were allowed, I would simply sit in that hypnotic trance watching storm clouds dance in this great expanse of desert sky. I am constantly amazed. Hypnotized, mesmerized, drawn into that continuous cycle of formation and destruction. It is a meditation in motion, calming my emotions and exciting them all at the same time.

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I do love this desert sky. The cloudscapes and skyscapes never cease to fascinate my childlike sense of wonder. I have never been a winter-lover, but I don’t mind the winter season around here. Sure, it can get a little cold at times, but it’s relatively mild and you don’t have to deal with the snow. On the other hand, there is usually (hopefully) snow to be found near enough to indulge the occasional urges of your inner child for sledding hills and snowball fights. There are some pretty impressive mountain slopes, easily accessible, for snowshoes, skies and snowboarding, if that’s your thing. In the winter (if we’re lucky), we might get a few good desert rains and who doesn’t adore the smell of a desert rainfall? And the clouds…well, cloud-watching will always be one of my most beloved outdoor activities. How could you not to be entranced by that delightful dance! The swirling and twirling, the shadow play, that teasing game of hide-and-seek as the sunlight playfully peeks through the clouds. It conjures up that carefree sensation of childhood, sitting barefoot in the grass contentedly searching for shapes in the cloud-filled sky. Watching the winter sky around here, sometimes it leaves you feeling like you’re living in a Joni Mitchell tune.

Rows and rows of angel hair

Ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere

I’ve looked at clouds that way

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Pleasant as this season is, there’s one thing I sorely miss. Those daylight hours for evening walks. The time for wandering, pondering and reflecting on your busy day. I long for that quiet time at day’s end, your body and mind in motion with the rhythmic movement of the clouds. But once in a while, I do manage to make it out before the sun goes down to walk and watch the winter sky. It is always an experience. Pausing to sit, transfixed by the transformation, you watch as those light-hearted, frolicking fluffs begin to brood and the mood changes completely in a matter of minutes. Churning and turning, the sky suddenly darkens as thoughts turn from ice-cream and angel hair to doubt and despair. Confusion clouds the mind as clouds conceal the light, declaring victory in that game of hide-and-seek. The wind whips your hair into a tangled mess while you fight the desert dust for visibility. And then you find yourself standing, soaking in the the sudden downpour with that tune playing in your head.

But now they only block the sun

They rain and snow on everyone

So many things I would have done

But clouds got in my way

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Sky tears. The profound sadness and sorrow that surround you in the day-to-day begin to seep into your soul and you start to wonder if perhaps it belongs to you after all. Your contentment is suddenly in question and you find yourself wondering…am I moving in the direction I intended to? Pondering…am I doing what I was meant to do? 

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all

And just as suddenly as the mood changed and the rains came, the clouds begin to dissipate and clarity returns. The sky reflects the colors of contentment as the last rays of the day overturn that victory in the game of hide-and-seek.

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Yes, it is alway an experience. The full gamut of emotion in a singe moment, standing beneath a cloud-filled sky. You know, I am one to seek solace in the simple things. I find delight in little discoveries and I am happy living a humble life. It may all be an illusion, but that’s O.K. I am content in my illusions. I don’t mind the not-knowing. I welcome the questioning. If anything is to get in my way in life, I’ll be happy if it’s clouds.

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Enjoy your clouds :)

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