There is an old saying, “Stop, and smell the roses.” It’s a reminder to slow down and take a moment to breathe in the aroma of something beautiful. If you are not in close proximity to a rose garden, this can be a challenge. A similar experience to slowing down is to lie back and watch the clouds. The summertime sky in Colorado produces an amazing array of billowy shades of white. Years prior to handheld technologies, many a hot and lazy afternoon of childhood were spent sprawled in the lawn or park gazing upward trying to distinguish and label the shapes above. It was a delight when your sibling or friend actually saw what you saw floating by high above our heads. Scientifically speaking, clouds are nothing more than ‘a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor suspended in the atmosphere,’ not as much fun as spotting a Cirrostratus white dragon racing across the sky!
One might even relate to the 1969 classic by Joni Mitchell, ”Both Sides Now.” She lyrically penned some famous descriptions of what she saw in the clouds;
“Rows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere,
I’ve looked at clouds that way.
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.
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.”
Ms. Mitchell may not have been happy with the reality resulting in cloud cover and ‘not knowing clouds at all,’ but the chart illustrating the types drifting through a summer sky on a laid back afternoon might not be an illusion after all. This season, Stop, drop and look upward, you might just see that ice cream castle!