Have you heard of the Cloud Appreciation society? Neither had I until Monday two weeks ago in an item broadcast on Radio 4. So I checked it out online and discovered that there are over 30,000 members!
The opening statement of their manifesto is as follows: "We believe that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them." Amen!
What are clouds? They are 'tiny drops of condensing of clear water vapour and/or ice crystals that settle on dust particles in the atmosphere.' Well, yes. Good old science. That is, as far as I can tell, an accurate description of what clouds are made of. But that isn't what they are.
Clouds are magnificent. They are beautiful. They carry enormous symbolic power. They provide the drama of our skies, directing the scene changes and moods of our daily stage. They move and change, they rise and fall, they rest and march, they grow and diminish, they tower and twist. They disorientate, as many have found looking up at skyscrapers as clouds stream by. (Is it the clouds that are moving or the buildings?) They hide and reveal. They pull us up towards mysteries beyond. They pack down upon us surrounding us in their cold and impenetrable embrace. And next day it is different again as a new drama unfolds.
Of course, we can have too many of them, solidly packed to produce featureless, horizon to horizon grey. (There have been too many days like this of late!) We can also have too few of them. Would we want to live our days under equally featureless,horizon to horizon blue?
So in appreciation of the clouds, here is are some recents photos, two from Portstewart Strand and one from our new 'back yard'.
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