Remember when I saw a good portion of the western hemisphere in the clouds? It seems it’s now Italy’s turn. Well, Italy if the country is retaining water, otherwise it could be one of Santa Claus’ legs.
I’d ultimately like to say it’s Italy, though the peninsular structure has gained some weight since the last time I saw a map. And yes, that’s a plane flying through the scene near the top-left corner.
Before anyone mentions my apparent desire to see things in the clouds, let me be serious for a moment and remind you of this quote from Stephen King’s Bag of Bones:
This is how we go on: one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root-canal at a time; boat-builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind us as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things—fish and unicorns and men on horseback—but they really are only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.
So, poppets, this is how I go on: one vision at a time, one page of text at a time, one post at a time, one new imaginative moment at a time, one minute of friendship and family and The Kids at a time, and one dream at a time. How else can it be done? I know of no other way.
But back to the clouds…
A thunderstorm came to life southwest of me a few weeks back, so I stood and watched its leading edge as the whole mass billowed and grew, a cottony manifestation of nature’s fury painted with a rainbow of colors. It sometimes amazes me how a single storm can give birth to clouds in so many forms, some light and some dark, some high and some low, yet each of them a bit player in a much larger production that contains far more strength than the sum of its parts.
Because the tempest developed in the late afternoon, the sun’s low position near the western horizon gave me a view colored in grays and whites and blues. Tints made from deep, passionate hues roiled for some time.
I snapped a photo every minute or so, or at least as often as I remembered to do so. Most of the time, however, I stood silently and let my eyes feast at nature’s board. Tendrils of living evaporation constantly changed, metamorphosed, grew.
At the heart of the mass, lightning had already made its presence known. Each flash waited but a few seconds before offering a low rumbling both on the air and in the ground.
Still, I held my place outside its umbrella of shadow, and I watched it take form as it drifted away from me. Afterward, I was thankful for the show.