Today is a perfect day for cloud hopping. What, you ask, is that? Well, I have a particular proclivity to daydream in the clouds. I like to look up on a day when there are puffs of cotton ball clouds that dot the blue sky. I imagine myself leaping from cloud to cloud, landing in a soft and springy embrace in the next cloud. I might bound from a low cloud and vault up to a higher one, or take a long lead and jump a great distance between clouds that are far apart. Mostly I hurdle like a dancer leaps, one leg stretched out in front of the other; a jeté. Rarely do I jump with two feet together. Sometimes I soar from cloud to cloud in one long stretch as if I were playing checkers and jumping over 10 pieces in one successive move.
My favorite days for cloud tripping are breezy days when the clouds are moving with a moderate to brisk pace so that I can vary which cloud I go to next based on what is floating nearest. A few weeks ago, Andy and I were working in the garden on such a day and it took a great deal of restraint for me to focus on the gardening task at hand and not go cloud hopping. I did manage to squeeze some jumps in when I took a break to lie down on the grass and stretch my back (the gardening work was intense!).
Flying is something that I have been doing since I was a little girl. My first early experience was at night in my dreams. Probably due to watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I began my treks in the sky on my four-post bed as a child. In the movie, the children go on adventures on a magical brass bed with their caretaker (who is a witch). I went on my own adventures as I flew my bed way above my New Jersey hometown. Mainly I would just watch the goings on from above. I still love to go up high into the sky and watch the world and I have had those floating dreams many, many times over the years beyond childhood.
Another media impact on my (you might say unusual, I say wonderful) flight behavior was the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. As a little girl, I have a very distinct memory, one that seemed real even when I was old enough to know it wasn’t, of looking out my bedroom window into the sky and seeing Santa and his sled with Rudolph at the front. I determined when I was a bit older that the angle of Santa’s flight that I saw was exactly what occurs in the very last frames of the animated special. My lifelong fascination with the sky and memories of my night flight adventures are very dear to me.
Day skipping in the clouds, conducted while awake, is very calming to me and something I am happy to do anytime. It’s a form of daydreaming so not surprisingly, the clouds can be very distracting, even as I sit here and write. My desk is in front of a large window and I have a great view above our tree line of a piece of neighboring mountain and best of all, the sky. I might be in the middle of a sentence when a cloud catches my eye and I decide to go on an adventure in my mind – and in the heavens.
But cloud hopping is also very useful and productive. Because of the meditative quality of the experience, I often solve problems or just become more relaxed when I am way up there. If something is upsetting me and I am lucky to have the right conditions in the sky, I do a little bouncing from puff to puff and whatever was bothering me becomes less important. Or I suddenly have clarity and make a decision that is authentic, based on my gut knowledge of what is best for me. Like the time just a few years ago when I was on a bus in Florida and the sky was particularly splendid in deep blues and puffy pristine clouds. I realized during that 15-minute bus ride between the media conference and the hotel that I was done with my corporate gig. I immediately began my serious plans to leave. The clouds served me so well that day because now I am happy as a child, floating above the sky and doing my own creative work.