Part of my Saturday mornings are intentionally aimless…and saturated with too much coffee. I become so driven by task during the week that I need to unhitch my mind and let it drift away with Noah’s last dove carrying a to-do list and an olive branch.
This post is for my son Brandon, who’s doing a little soaring himself while traveling Europe and learning the German language, while studying Meteorology at the University of Hamburg Germany. It’s also for lovers of weather…and lovers of the power of aimless imagination. You can stop reading if you don’t fit into these categories.
Since Brandon left January 3rd, I think of him often, and so when I see a topic that is compelling and that touches his world, I read about it or watch it or listen to it. This one’s about clouds, and I thought it fascinating.
I also liked it because it’s about aimlessness. I know, we’ve all been taught to be goal-oriented task accomplishing achievers. But when do we ever plan nothingness, aimless wanderings, when do we ever turn off our minds from the constant search for efficiency and accomplishment? Why isn’t this intentional rather than an occasional random epiphany?
When we were young masters of daydreaming, we allowed ourselves the indulgence of drifting along in the breeze of nothingness, and to-do lists were for jaded high-strung adults.
We don’t live beneath the sky, we live in it. I was reminded of this one Sunday morning sitting on the peak of a mountain within the Boston range in Arkansas, with cousin Brooks Davis and his two sons Jace and Trey, along with my son, Brandon. As we prepared for a Sunday worship in this pinnacled cathedral a storm blew in from the north. It was the first recognition I had of living within the cauldron of developing weather. Most weather is observed by looking up, but this…was wondrous in that we were literally mingled in the stew of weather, and a bit frightening as lightning crackled charging the atmosphere.
I think about that moment from time to time and remember how fortunate we were to see that and how remarkable clouds can be, especially when you are the center of the storms majestic swirling vortex.
Wouldn’t it be great if lying on our backs and aimlessly staring at the heavens was a valued pastime? In eternally busy lives, recognizing the exotic in the everyday?
And you don’t have to rush off to Timbuktu, just step outside your door, slow down, be present and do some cloud spotting. It’s good for your soul, for your creativity, for your mind.
Here’s where my wandering took me this morning, to TED radio and a talk by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. What a wonderful idea…keep looking up, see the ephemeral beauty of the atmosphere, and keep living with your head in the clouds.