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Odes

Ode to Clouds

Clouds are unpredictable. The mere difficulty we have in predicting the weather make them at once mysterious and mystical. They can come bearing rain, snow, or beauty. Most times, I do not look for shapes in clouds, but there are occasionally ones that just pop out to the eye. Their textures and sizes seem infinitely varied. They add interest to any view. I find them nearly impossible to draw, which strangely makes them even more endearing to me. The colors range from white to nearly black. They are the stage and canvas for the ultimate sunrises and sunsets, which can be fairly dull without them. However, a single cloud can bring the full fiery glory of the crepuscular sun.

The textures can be fluffy, smooth, tumultuous, wispy, and everything in between. Each has its own character and message. There are the alto-cirrus clouds that presage an approaching storm even as they create sun dogs and moon rings. There are the explosive cumulo-nimbus clouds that can bring the sudden splendor, majesty, and fury of the atmosphere. There can be the flat stratus clouds that catch the night lights of the city as snow settles over the landscape. Lenticular clouds hover over mountains like spaceships, and cheery cumulus clouds accentuate the perfect blue of a nice day.

Clouds give three-dimentionality to the sky. What appears flat to the inattentive mind is brought into focus and depth by clouds at various levels. Their movement hints at the great power and tumult that can be caused by the air. Their swirling patterns in cyclones and bubbling anvils in thunder clouds are the paradoxical beauty of some of nature’s most potent forces. From clouds come blessed rain, awe inspiring lightning, and fun-bearing snow. In my imagination, dragons hide, shape, and guide the clouds as they fly through the atmosphere, defying the attempts of mere mortal land-dwellers to tame our world.