Into the Skies
We Arizonans get a little excited about clouds since our skies are almost always draped in a dazzling sapphire robe, interrupted by nothing but blue. Some of us are so taken by clouds that we take photos of clouds every chance we can (me).
Some of us (dearest husband, a trained National Weather Service spotter) become a bit obsessed with them, sitting in metal chairs next to metal flagpoles while lightning flashes all around during monsoon season – just looking. Ahem.
For me, part of the fascination with clouds is their versatility. No two clouds are shaped the same, and the slightest of changes to atmospheric conditions – and even the position of the sun – can change everything. In an instant.
Clouds also have power. They can both cast shadows and reveal light. They can transform into funnel clouds. They can disappear as quickly as they’ve come. And – I kid you not – as I was writing this post, I was reminded of something else they can do: drop quarter-sized, damaging hail (Macho and Niña weren’t happy as those ice pellets ricocheted off of the five skylights in the house. The tornado warning was also lifted shortly thereafter. Tornadoes in the desert?! Was it something I wrote?).
For writers, for everyone. No matter where we live, I think we can all agree to the hypnotic, awe-inspiring effect of clouds. They evoke mood, tell stories, inspire, color their surroundings. Isn’t this what good fiction also does?
What do you imagine when you look into the skies? Do you see the sinister side of nature – the ability of those clouds to do harm? Or do clouds inspire you, illuminating your hopes and dreams?
How do I feel? (Thanks for asking). I smile when I look up into the skies – so massive, and such a reminder of my smallness in this world. And sometimes, when those clouds transform to an eerie shade of lemon or a shoe-polish black, I still smile – perhaps with a quivering lip and a pinch of apprehension – but with wonder and appreciation.