“I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright sacred day, the dark blessed night. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world,” of weather. When was the last time you paused and admired the sky? I don’t mean you were stopped in traffic and you looked up. I mean you really made a conscious effort to study the objects, textures, colors and patterns in our airspace? Your distant ancestors did it, and from it they gleaned jewels of knowledge while probably gaining an increased appreciation for beauty.
“But a blue sky is boring,” you say. Is it really? Study it some more. What type of blue is it? Sapphire, cobalt, cerulean, periwinkle, powder? If you use some imagination you might envision molecules of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon moving around in their daily hustle and bustle, hooking up, separating, creating life-supporting H2O or plant-sustaining CO2. Of course, too much CO2 is a long-term issue.
Even a gray sky shares stories of moisture. Gray might not be the most energizing color but if you count, you might come up with 49 or 50 shades of gray. Oops, wrong turn.
Sky watching is a good stress-reliever, unless you are watching a tornado approaching. When you gaze upward you soak in a scene that has never occurred before precisely as you see it. In fact, no other human being can witness the exact same thing you see. It might be close, but it won’t be identical.
My third-grade teacher, Ms. Costello, took our class outside and we laid on our backs in the grass and looked up at the cumulus clouds to try to imagine the shapes that they reminded us of. We saw animals and dragons and people. That was called nephelococcygia by the Greek playwright, Aristophanes. Thanks to high humidity that gives you a hug, on the Gulf Coast we grow a wide variety and quantity of clouds. Set the meteorologist inside of you free. Don’t be embarrassed! You don’t have to know the names of clouds to appreciate them.
How many lyricists have made meteorological observations? “Blue skies smiling at me. Nothing but blue skies do I see.” “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine.” “The sun goes down, the stars come out.” “Feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you.”
Rain can make rainbows. Surely, you get a good feeling when you see one. “The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky.” What, you haven’t seen a rainbow?! Say it isn’t so!
The natural world offers entertainment, inspiration, challenges and treats to the eyes and mind, but you have to open both of them. When you spot a pretty or interesting weather scene, pull out the smartphone, take a picture and share it to my Facebook page, Alan Sealls Weather, but please don’t take the picture while you are driving.
“And I think to myself, what a wonderful world,” of weather. Oh yeah!
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