November 23, 2021
It’s Tuesday of our silent week. I spotted this cloud formation the other day while I was driving home. Clouds are like cosmic silent films, aren’t they? Only a select few have the skills to interpret the plot. These people can glance at the sky and tell you the scientific names of the clouds, how high up each of them is, and what kind of weather is headed your way—and when.
For the rest of us, clouds remain relegated to the world of “up there.” Their names are more like “puffy” or “fluffy” or “wooly” or “cottony.” If we’re feeling particularly bold we may give them moods, like “angry” or “ominous.” For the weather, well…we have to check our phones for that.
I’ve tried to learn about clouds, but I'm no good. The pictures all start to look alike. And the words, things like cirrus and cirrostratus and altostratus and cumulonimbus, they go in one ear and out the other. So I shall remain a grateful admirer of the puffy and fluffy and let someone else do the interpreting.
“Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton... I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by... If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations... What do you think you see, Linus?"
"Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean... That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor... And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen... I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side..."
"Uh huh... That's very good... What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?"
"Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”
― Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960