Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with exploring the concepts of pronoia (the belief that the universe is conspiring to shower us with blessings), quiety (serenity) and peace -all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply delightful-to-me words.
C is for… Cloudland.
This gentle word is defined as 1) the sky 2) dreamland 3) A region of unreality, imagination, etc.
Doesn’t it somehow shift your perspective to think of clouds living in cloudland? Cosmic travelers moving hither and yon, allowing us to sometimes catch glimpses of them on their journeys and yet, really just going about their own business. Delivering rain sometimes; providing a bit of shade sometimes; shape-shifting at whim. Even with storm clouds hustling wildly, I imagine cloudland to be a spacious place of peace.
I also like the idea of dreaming occurring in cloudland. I prefer to think the definition means literal night-time dreaming. And the perspective that it is indeed a literal other dimension we go off and visit delights me. I certainly know the law of physics behave quite differently for me in dreamland, and I’ll happily assign that to the fact that I’m visiting cloudland. Obviously things are much different there.
Back in the waking world, watching clouds is a quintessential pastime, inviting us back into slow time. It’s an opportunity to connect to wonder, to engage our imaginations. It can be a reminder to hold things loosely – as we watch clouds morph and shift we can allow some spaciousness and perhaps loosen our own grip on things we might be holding too tightly.
Lightness of thought doesn’t translate into lightness of weight though. Wispy appearance can be deceiving – even a small cumulus cloud can weight as much as two elephants.
I find it delightful that elephants have many associations with clouds. There’s a charming tale suggesting that elephants once had wings. One elephant, tiring after a long flight, thought he’d rest a bit by landing in a very large old banyan tree. But alas the tree couldn’t support him, and the branch he landed on cracked and fell upon a meditating yogi who was sitting under the tree. The man lost his temper and cursed away the wings of all elephants, who thereafter had to resort to walking.
The Divine Elephant Aryavata, whom Vedic god Indra rides, is known as “the one who knits or binds the clouds.” Ayravata is considered the progenitor of all earthly elephants.
The association of elephants and rain is also reflected in the story of the goddess Lakshmi. As she rose out of the ocean seated on a lotus, the elephants of each quarter of the sky took up their pure waters in golden vessels and poured them over the goddess. She, too, is pictured with a Divine Elephant, or Megha (cloud).
If you love clouds you may wish to become an official member of The Cloud Appreciation Society, or simply do your appreciating solo.
But whether you’ve got your eyes to the skies, or your head in the clouds, I do hope you find some peace, some quiet, and some joy in cloudland.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
What cloudland do you belong to – the sky, your dreams, the land of imagination, or perhaps the more pragmatic land of file storage? Do tell – you know I love to hear.