Friday, October 21, 2016

I've Looked at Clouds (With Apologies to Joni Mitchell)

The Midwest sky is a place of constant movement. Perhaps due to the flatness of the prairie, steamrolled by glaciers eons ago, we see more of it than those that inhabit more undulating terrain. There is rarely a cloudless day. Almost always wisps of white drift overhead. The heat of a brutal summer sun about to be eased by a cool breeze from the north is foreshadowed by the floating markers which will shade the earth giving relief from the heat.

Sometime the clouds can be menacing. Dark cylinders roll up into an even darker plane above them. I have watched as storms moving over the lake create spouts. Cones of lake water swirl up and meet  the powerful darkness which permeates the sky.

 At sunset from our kitchen window the clouds add depth and color. The rays of the late afternoon sun break through them creating shafts of light which move cross the vista of an eclectic collection of modern and vintage highrises, church steeples and tree shaded streets lined with venerable four square homes. As the sun dips closer to the horizon the clouds light up in colors of red, yellow, orange and pink, sometimes brilliant, sometimes subtle.

Some, looking at vacation photos, for instance, remark on a clear, blue, cloudless sky. I prefer the random nature of clouds. Sometimes I enjoy being surprised.

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