Cloud Nine : on blissful ignorance

IMG_0022Recently I found myself wondering just how much do we really “need” to know? The system for naming clouds, based on their characteristics  was created in the 1800’s by Luke Howard,  an English chemist whose hobby was meteorology. The system is so logical and descriptive it is still in use today and remains relatively unchanged. I read about this in A Short History of Nearly Everything  by Bill Bryson, one of my summer reading projects. The system has nine categories of clouds. At first I was disappointed to discover the  phrase “Cloud Nine”  had such mundane origin. Suddenly “Cloud Nine” seemed less blissful. I didn’t even want to know which cloud formation was the ninth!  I mean what if it wasn’t the cumulus “puff balls” that look like heaven to rest upon (never mind that unless you actually are an angel, you’d fall right through any cloud regardless of it’s name) Then again, it began to make sense, because why would a state of bliss be called Cloud Nine?  Why not Cloud Seven or Ten?  If Nine was as high as one could go, then that must be heaven right?  It’s really what we tell ourselves that gives everything its meaning.  You know one persons trash is another persons treasure. A mentor I admire a great deal said “There will be no magic in your work, if there is no magic in your heart.”  It made my blood run cold for a second, but then I realized no one can tell me what is or is not in my heart. Someone else may not see the magic but if I feel it in my heart, it’s real.  And so is Cloud Nine

Deborah H Rahalski

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