On the Dreaded Move Down South, and My New Love of Clouds

I don't know about you, but I've never really appreciated clouds as much as they deserve.

I just never really noticed them. They were there, I assumed, and occasionally would dump rain upon me and I'd duck my head and scramble as my broken-down, cheap umbrella flapped in the wind, but that was about the extent of my relationship to clouds.

I think I can easily blame this on New York City. It's just such a city, you know? Either you're in Manhattan, with tall buildings blocking sight of the clouds, or you're in the outer boroughs and so intent on what you're doing and taking in the architectural beauty that you ignore nature.

That's what I have a tendency of doing; ignoring nature in favor of the man-made structures that astound.

I have this theory, though, that it's just as easy to worship God through urbanity as it is through nature; because the ultimate creator of everything is, in fact, the God who inspires men to build; it's just in architecture it's more indirect.

But that's off-track. I just, I have a thing for buildings. I adore them. 

So, yeah. Buildings catch my eye. I could write a thousand odes to the beauties of architecture, the wonders of the metropolitan, the glories or the urban jungle. I never thought I would find myself writing about clouds.

It's just that there's so much more space down here, you know? I can drive for miles without leaving the city. The buildings are short and the roads wide and half-empty, and my eyes drift upwards, to the sky, and there...there are the clouds.

Remember that game we played as kids, where we lay on the grass, shaded our eyes with our hands and pointed out the clouds? We used our imagination to create parallels between the clouds and something else we knew, so instead of just seeing a cloud we saw Snoopy, or a sandcastle, or that man from church.

It's a great game, and it's most kids' first introduction to what it means to appreciate what's up in the sky. I have fond memories of playing that game, laying in the sun while my skin baked, breathing in fresh air and soaking up Vitamin D.

I think, somewhere along the way, I forgot about that game. I forgot to look up at the sky and wonder at what the clouds are doing. They're so simple, you know, and there are so many bigger things to think about — there are so many work-related things to stress over and catch-up dates to plan and packing to dread. There is just much to do that does not involve staring at the sky.

That's a pity, isn't it? 

I've said it before, but things seem to move at a slower pace in the South. And they're bigger. There's more time to take in the sights, and one of the sights I've been loving has been that of the clouds. Do me a favor, y'all, and the next time it's light where you are, glance up. Look at the clouds. Snap a photo. Send it to me. Let's talk clouds. 

And let's talk about how it took the thing I feared for two years — leaving New York, moving back to the South — to get me to notice and appreciate my new favorite natural phenomenon. It's just...isn't that the way it always is? You fear something, you dread it, you name it the Bogeyman, monster under the bed, Boggart in the closet, and then when it happens, when life throws you in the direction you never wanted to go, you find something you adore. 

I love New York, and I miss it, today for the first time with a fierceness that surprised me. But I had to leave. I put myself in a box in Brooklyn, and I had to jump far away in order to get free. And I'm so excited to be heading to Italy this week, so exited about all the adventures I'll have there. I'm excited to come home and see what home holds for me the second time around, where I end up, what God has in store. 

The life I was living the past few months in New York was strict and rigid and inflexible. I'm so excited to have flexibility again. So excited get to rant and rave about something new, something unexpected — something like clouds.

Let's adventure, shall we? Look at the clouds, and while we're at it, see what else we notice that might have been hidden before.