As a child, I learned that watching clouds was a form of entertainment. I acquired this knowledge while riding in a car during my 'young girl' days.
On long family road trips, Dad usually did the driving, while Mom, sitting in the front seat beside him, attempted to keep three increasingly antsy, impatient young children in the backseat, under control.
These were the days before the advent of seatbelts or electronic amusements and games. Bored and restless, my sister, my brother, and I didn't always remain quiet, sit perfectly still, or enjoy each other's company. Fortunately, when problems arose, Mom had many ways of diverting our attention. One of them was clouds.
She'd point out the window and say, "Look at that cloud. What does that remind you of?" Sometimes we'd see an animal, sometimes a human face or silhouette, sometimes some mysterious misshapen object. The images we identified never lasted for long. They would disappear in a matter of seconds and become something new. Enjoying the game, we'd continue to look for more surprises in the clouds and time passed more quickly.
Though no longer a 'young girl', I still love looking at clouds. Sometimes fluffy and white on a sunny day...sometimes highlighted with pinks and yellows during a stunning sunset...sometimes threatening gray before a storm, clouds are simply beautiful.
As for the 'imagination' game, I still play it, even when I'm alone. It calms me.
Below is my tribute to them:
Cotton puffs in a patch of blue,
always changing, always moving.
Foamy, light, sugar meringues,
drifting, swirling, blending
one into another...
Smudgy, whipped cream pillows,
building, expanding, growing
into shadowy dark mattresses.
Rising, filling, heaviness mounting,
they spill over with relief
and are gone.
Not destroyed, merely transformed,
ready to repeat the pattern once again.
Magnificent puzzles in the sky,
impossible to put together,
reassuring just the same.
What do you see in the clouds?