I have developed great appreciation by simply looking up at the sky – inhaling the ever-changing cloud designs or the random checker-board vapor trails of jets. Perhaps this focus has come about from working in windowless offices or from the recent up-tick in weather events in North Carolina. But, my sense is that my slowing down to be intentionally mindful of sky patterns is at the core – and these other factors just amplify its impact.
Each work day, I walk slowly into work – breathing in my final breaths of nature as if to hold onto its livingness for the entire workday; choosing the building entrance that bursts into a two-story, floor-to-ceiling glass-walled lobby that puts nature on a big-screen display; and, finishing on a hallway that dead-ends (live-ends?) at a window-wall which neatly frames a tree with its slo-mo seasonal shifts – do I really see what’s different with each passing day?
Every day the sky canvas is different – shifted quickly by the weather and what cloud types nature chooses to use as its paintbrush of the day. It’s about seeing the design and stepping out of the judgment (too hot/too cold; too rainy/too snowy); it’s about finding the shapes that giddily look like something else; it’s about sensing the conditions that hold the potential for a rainbow siting. I appreciate clouds! There’s a group for that – The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Leslie Gernon is an outdoor guide (i.e., shinrin-yoku walks, wellness walks, and labyrinth events), counselor