Head In The Clouds

I know that I am in a pocket of relaxation when I find myself watching clouds. The calming sensation of simply watching tufts of vapour gather and take on massed formations before splintering into separate threads – it symbolises a shift into deeper thoughts or just pondering.

There are other times when the natural world offers moments of welcome distraction – spend some time watching the swell and surge of the ocean, or lose your thoughts in lush green foliage under a canopy of trees. There is something elemental about being absorbed, even temporarily, in nature that seems to recalibrate my mind and soul.

This isn’t to say that the usual pattern of thoughts and mental to-dos vanish, but at these times there seems to be more scope to think a bit differently and to puzzle things out.

A quick google search shows that I am not the only cloud appreciator. There is an exquisite time-lapse clip here with calming music to mesmerise the mind on a day when access to the sky is limited, or if there is a cloudless sky.

There is even a Cloud Appreciation Society with thousands of members in over 100 countries. Membership benefits include receiving a cloud a day. Their manifesto rallies against ‘blue-sky thinking’ and advocates that “clouds are for dreams and their contemplation benefits the soul”. I heartily agree with their declaration to all who will listen:

Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds!

During a TED talk by the Society’s founder, Gavin Pretor-Pinney (called Cloudy with a Chance of Joy), we are reminded that clouds provide an opportunity to tune in and slow down whilst watching clouds. They offer a chance to find the exotic in the everyday, in an activity that is aimless yet important in providing a legitimate form of doing nothing in an otherwise overly busy life. Cloud watching is good for ideas, creativity and for your soul.

I’m off to do some cloud-gazing. How about you?

[Photo: clouds above Hartley Valley, towards Mt York]

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10 thoughts on “Head In The Clouds

  1. Clouds and tree canopies are two of my own favourite objects of contemplation. So it was a great pleasure to read this post. (From the window behind my desk, I see a golden ash tree in the centre of a magical dell of dark green ivy – not a canopy, but a secret garden.)

    • That sounds like magic to me! Some of my favourite moments are spent just looking out at the green leaves in the garden; something so simple but it just eases my mind and seems to invite a different kind of thinking. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your secret garden.

  2. Really cool – never thought about setting aside time to appreciate the clouds, but that’s a thing to think about. A “Cloud Appreciation Society” – what an amazing world.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Bill! I know, right, about the society – I thought I can’t be the only one who does this occasionally but didn’t realise that there were so many others joined by mutual appreciation of one of nature’s many amazing phenomenons. Thank you for your comments.

  3. Yes and absolutely! Cloud-watching is one of my favorite pastimes because it is never, ever the same. It is one of the most epic adventures lived in one of the simplest of ways: just look up! So good! I was cloud-gazing as well today and my heart was so full of joy and gratitude for that beautiful opportunity. Cheers to cloud-gazing! 🙂

  4. One of the things I liked best about living in Kansas was how the flat land showed so much more of the sky. That was the first time I really started paying attention to clouds and realizing just how beautiful some of the formations could be.

    • Thanks, Ann, now I’m off to look up some Kansas clouds! Something that amazed me in the TED talk was the small sample of some of the incredible cloud formations from around the world. Oh, the infinite variety! Thank you for sharing 😊

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