The Beauty of Clouds

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IMG_2276Many forms of entertainment exist: movies, books, music, etc. We are all drawn to different interests, activities and hobbies, and quite frankly I’m glad of that because, otherwise, life would be quite boring. While I enjoy jamming to some tunes and curling up with a book to insert myself into a new and exciting story, my absolute favorite form of entertainment is cloud watching. There’s something about lifting my chin to the sky to see something other than blue that so intrigues me. To me, clouds have become more than an entertaining hobby but a passion that fuels my soul.

I’ve always had an admiration for the sky, especially sunsets. I love how such lovely hues can be splashed across the sky every evening. Somewhere along the line, I developed an utter affection for the clouds. I can’t tell you what it was that attracted me to them so greatly; all I know is that, one day, I took the time to truly notice them, and I was hooked.

For seventeen years of my life, I seldom considered clouds. They were just occasionally present entities, and it didn’t make any difference to me whether they were or not. Once I acknowledged the clouds, I wanted to learn more about them. Eventually, I purchased “The Cloudspotter’s Guide,” whose author, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, provides a tour of the sky, and thus I began teaching myself about clouds. I was astounded time and time again about the information that I was reading about. Although I still have much to learn about the sky, I now consider myself a member of The Cloud Appreciation Society. May I just brag about clouds for a moment?

A cloud consists of 350 billion water droplets per cubic feet; some carry the same weight in water as 80 elephants. Clouds reflect the sun’s light, which allow them to appear white and in a sunset, a wide spectrum of pigments. Ten types of clouds exist, with numerous varieties of each, resulting in many different types of cloud combinations. Clouds are always developing and morphing into new ones; for example, a typical fair-weather cloud, the cumulus, lasts only about 10 minutes before it develops into something more or less. An average cumulonimbus, the towering thunderclouds that scare us senseless, have been estimated to contain the amount of energy equivalent to ten Hiroshima-sized bombs. That’s pretty incredible, if you ask me. The information on clouds is nearly endless, and in truth, I could go on and on for quite some time, but I suppose I’ll spare you of that.IMG_1558

I believe we all have something in nature that captures our hearts. For some, it may be watching a sunrise or a sunset. For others, it could be sitting amongst a plethora of trees and hearing the birds chirp. For me, it’s watching those fluffy white tufts being pushed around by the wind. The clouds remind me to look up. They remind me that, if I’m not careful, I can so easily miss the beauty that is right in front of me.

We live in a microwave society that seeks to work faster, harder and better, always. We are either too busy, too stressed or too worried about the next thing on our laundry list of to-do’s to experience such simple pleasures. Clouds remind me that I ought to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. I don’t expect you to suddenly have an interest in clouds (although they are pretty wonderful) but I urge you to discover what it is that grabs your attention and makes your heart feel happy and full and learn more about it. I think you’ll find that when you do, life becomes a bit simpler and more pleasurable.

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