“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storms, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Photo: Jim Sharman.

Clouds have a bit of an unfortunate reputation by linguistic association, for example it can be said that having a cloud hanging over someone equates to a bad or low mood. In other terminology, ‘cloudy’ can be seen as a negative reference to things like fluids, suggesting impurity. Yet clouds in the meteorological sense can be, and often are, awe-inspiringly and strikingly beautiful and not always mere harbingers of inclement weather!

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, there are 10 specific types of cloud genus, each having numerous, and often dramatic, subspecies. They all have the potential to beautify your day – yes, even the monotonous, uniform, opaque, low-level, grey ones that blur the boundary between land and sky on the horizon. 

The numerous shapes and sizes of clouds can also create spectacular optical illusions, such as altocumulus lenticularis, which is in fact thought to be responsible for most reports of UFOs, or the gorgeous effect of a kind of cirrocumulus which resembles fish scales and is therefore called a ‘mackerel sky’, or my favourite, a kind of cirrostratus that causes a massive halo to form around the sun or moon, turning it into a massive eye in the sky……

What’s the point of all this cloud talk? Well, we’re back to the idea of choice and subjectivity – we can choose if dark storm clouds reflect our mood, or if dreary nimbostratus gets us down – we can also choose to see the beauty in whatever sky is above and around us. Beauty, truth, positivity, optimism are all choices we make – to break our bad mood, to remove the ‘cloud’ over our emotions, we consciously look for the positive in the moment.

So, the next time you see a cloud in front of your sunset, you can choose to accept that it’s not ruining the moment, rather it’s enhancing and contributing to it – because, just like snowflakes, absolutely no cloud is exactly the same and neither is any sunset.

We can apply this concept to our moods and moments too; instead of giving into a negative mindset, we can instead look to see how that cloud scatters the light of our sunset, creating a myriad of colours when we look more closely at it and learn to see beauty and uniqueness.

What situation can you shift your perspective on and, instead of seeing dark storm clouds, see power, excitement, refreshing and cleansing wind and rain? Will you choose to see a gorgeous and unique sunset, accepting the gift that each such moment presents?

Love and light,

Jim Sharman


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