My Head Is In The Clouds

Ah, the summer. It is a time to relax and unwind and do nothing. I have been doing a lot of nothing this summer and loving every minute of it! Of course, my nothing is still fairly active with regular exercise and yoga and our DIY house painting room-by-room project. But I have slowed with work and I have indulged by reading many romance novels and murder mysteries and taking trips to the Jersey Shore (see Magical Moment Mondays Jersey Shore) and a trip to Saratoga Springs (see also At The Races).  Clouds above the raceway at SaratogaAnd I find that my head is in the clouds, both literally and figuratively. By literally I mean that I am perfectly content to watch the clouds roll by and do some cloud hopping (see Cloud Hopping) if the conditions are right. Lately the sky has been very clear but today I am enjoying the drift of fluffy white clouds just asking to be leapt into. When I engaged in cloud hopping, I feel a lightness and thrilling sense of freedom as I jump from cloud to cloud. And that moves me to then have my head in the clouds figuratively.

When I go up into the clouds figuratively, I am very removed from the world and my body. It is as if I can peer down upon me and my own life with a new perspective—almost as if I were a different person. It is very calming because that view is always magnificent and optimistic and persuasive. From the cloud view I am able to look over the past of my life, the present of my life and the future of my life without fear and without judgment and with love and kindness. It is serenity. It gives me clarity.  What a great place to live!

Clouds above our vege gardenSometimes I figure out a problem up there. Other times I get new ideas and run back inside to write them down. Almost always I want to write after I am up in the clouds because I have so much pouring out of my head that I must release. And writing is a wonderful method to release and cultivate my thoughts. Even as I type away at the keyboard, I feel removed from my physical self when I am downloading post cloud time. The words tumble from my head and I feel soothed and completely at home. As I sit here attempting to make sense of it, I would say that for me nature and writing are curiously intertwined. I don’t always need to be in the clouds or in nature to write, but nature moves me. Being outside pushes me into the clouds, which then pushes me into thoughts and then pushes me to write. I say push because it is as if an energy field is surrounding me that compels me to write. Yes, inactivity leads to boundless activity! The inactivity of having my head in the clouds is actually one of the most powerful ways for me to get into action—the action of writing. I say let’s all get our heads into the clouds and see what we create!

XOXO Rachel

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Cloud hopping

Clouds to skip over the Hudson Valley RiverToday 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.

California wine country-style cloud hoppingMy 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.

Driving along a New Mexico highway - Cloud hopping along the wayAnother 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.

Cloud hopping on a Hawaiian sunsetBut 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.