“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore, (Stray Birds)
This is going to be a quintessentially English kind of post. Why? Because I’m talking about the weather, and for once, I’m not moaning about it! We Brits are not used to this kind of heat!
As I was sunbathing during Sunday’s glorious, baking hot afternoon, I watched the sun’s rays fan out spectacularly around a solitary cumulus nimbus cloud above me, and felt compelled to capture this astral scene in real time.
I took nine photographs as this huge cloud (my cloud 9), shrouded the blazing sun and then slowly broke up under the onslaught of a sweltering June heat wave. I was grateful to that cloud, without it I would have burnt to a crisp!
If I were an artist I probably would have painted it, but words came instead. My observations have been sublimated into a stream of consciousness, free-verse poem.
In that respect you could say clouds are the ushers of zen as well as the providers of shade…
“Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven,
Curtain round the vault of heaven.” ~ Thomas Love Peacock
Contemplating Cumulus Clouds
My eyes crinkle at the contrast of silver-lining
Against foreboding, grey cotton sitting above me,
Enveloping every ounce of moisture in the air;
A luminous outline from the sun’s insistent rays,
This incandescent string of pure, bright light.
Illuminating my retina from behind the shadows,
As if nature is saying, there is good within the gloom;
I want to reach up and touch its rounded edges,
Grasp it’s elusive, fleecy form, behold for eternity,
But it is changing with every passing moment.
Life giving rays are only temporarily hidden,
Earth’s star, determined to dissolve suspended droplets
Scorching beams will once again permeate the ground,
Bathing all living things in its glowing reach,
Imperceptible breeze, to break up stifling humidity.
As I watch candy-like white wisps breaking away,
The puffy edges are swirling in constant motion,
Moving to form anther cloud, or simply evaporate,
Demonstrating the eternal flow of the universe…
How all primordial ingredients are reused, recycled.
Cumulo – these Latin piles of shaded air,
Resplendent swells of watery weather,
Floating purposefully or aimlessly, gathering or fleeing
Deliberate, or speeding; depending on the wind,
Patchwork ceiling for humans, lift for soaring birds.
We may frown and fret at an abundance of nimbus,
Bemoaning their frequent outbursts of precipitation!
Today cumulus shades me from the searing heat,
Another day they will bestow liquid on parched earth
Is God decorating the sky, with an ever-changing palette?
Meteorological material; from mysterious misty layers,
To floating pale tufts, or brooding, bulging monsters,
Swollen and violent with rain, blocking out the sun;
Ephemeral fluid shapes: never forever, and never the same…
Scarce or plentiful; permeating and patrolling the skies.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock (The Use Of Life)