Friday, July 15, 2011


The sky is blue and there is a soft southerly breeze brushing across your face.  You look up and in the sky are patches of little clouds being pushed across the sky by the breezes.  As the wind moves the clouds, the change the form of the cloud a little at a time, first on one side and then on the other.  Perhaps the back of the cloud gets push up into the main part of the cloud or new little branches of the cloud pull away from the main body.

Look, that cloud looks like a dog for a while and as you watch, the wind morphs the cloud into a big shoe.  You focus in on this one cloud as it makes its way across the sky.  It takes about twenty minutes or so and during this time the cloud shifts and changes at an amazing rate.  In between identifiable shapes you watch and try to guess what shape the cloud will take next.

Watching mother nature sculpt these clouds into different shapes at a constant pace is one of the gifts that is given to us.  We first become aware of the sculpting of the clouds as children when our parents point up to a cloud and ask us what it reminds us of.  Because of small attention span as children we soon tire of watching the art being formed in the sky but only for a short while.

Once that seed is planted in our brains, we continue to return to observing new masterpieces being created one after another.  There is a period of time as we near the age of ten that we start watching the summer clouds more often.  We find ourselves peeking a glance at the sky and hearing words in our minds as each shape takes a certain form.  Turtle, elephant, ball glove are words that flow through your mind as the cloud continues to be shaped by the invisible artist.

Soon we enter a period of time where we find ourselves lying on our backs in the grass with our hands behind our heads.  We watch one cloud fly over and give it a name and wait for the next cloud to drift by and be given a totally different name.  The works of art are shaded by the light of the sun giving each work of art its own distinctive coloring, depth and texture.

Sometimes we look up and the canvas is empty.  Blue sky is all you can see from horizon to horizon. It can be disappointing to look up expecting to see some beautiful art only to find nothing.  At other times the clouds take over the whole of the sky blotting out any blue from reaching our eyes.  Sometimes these clouds are flat and bland but if we are lucky the clouds have a lot of texture and sit at different heights and the canvas takes on the look of a Van Gogh painting with clouds swirling around each other and flowing like a river fron one side of the sky to the other.

Soon we grow into our late teens and early adulthood and schedules begin to be filled.  We are too busy to take notice of the world around us like we use to.  The sky is there and we know it, but seldom do we look up into it unless there is a danger of storms.  Even then, it only gets a brief glance from us as we assess the situation and move on with our hectic little lives.  Meanwhile the artist continues to manufacture works of art for new observers that we are not aware of.

Then comes a magic day.  It is a day when we find our selves with a young niece or nephew or even a child of our own.  We are standing outside holding their hand as we push on with life when a sudden and pleasant memory enters our brains.  We remember when we were young and our mother or father, aunt or uncle held our hand.  They stop suddenly and point up to the sky and asks us what does that cloud look like?  Or that one?  How about that one? We stop walking and look up into the sky.   We really look at the clouds for the first time in many years and see that natures artist is still at work and we see a horse coming into shape as the cloud moves and shifts.  We squeeze the little hand that is being held in our own and ask the same questions that were asked of us long ago.  What does that cloud look like?  Or that one?  How about that one?  Once again the magic of the art enters our lives for a little bit as we stand there in wonderment along side one who has for the first time made the discovery of art in the sky.

Then we do something that we always do.  We do not learn from the past and slip back into the business of life and forget the sky once again.  We continue our journey without taking time to notice the loveliness of the world around us and we miss out on so many beautiful things and events.  They are constantly appearing and fading away around us without the least of an attempt from us to notice all of it.

Finally we end up with life slowed down.  Our fast paced days are behind us and we have come to enjoy a slower pace of life.  We find ourselves sitting out side under a shade tree or on a deck.  Suddenly we start to think of days gone by, about life and all that we have been through over the years.  We begin to daydream and we find our eyes slowly lifting to the skies.

We catch a cloud slowly moving into view.  At first it looks like every other cloud but then we start to notice something.  The cloud is taking shape.  It is floating and shifting around until suddenly there is that turtle from many many years ago.  It has come back to revisit us.  We now have time to sit and notice the great art gallery we know as nature.  The cloud sculpture is but a small part of that great gallery.  There is the tree gallery and the bird gallery.  So many different wings of the gallery that you can never see it all but it fascinates you to a point of at least trying to.

The artist that sculpts clouds continues to do so and with that continues to build a portfolio of art in our minds that is astounding and never ending.  If only we had taken more time to enjoy and observe nature's gallery of art with the time we have here on this earth.  All the years being too busy to take a little of it in has caused us to miss masterpieces that we will never know existed.  Thank goodness that the artist never stops creating.  There is still something new in the gallery for us to see every day. The cloud sculpture wing of the gallery is especially beautiful and wonderful.

Take the time to enjoy it once in awhile.  It can pick you up when you are down.  It can make you think and imagine.  It can bring back memories of days long gone by.

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