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A reflection on the sky

A look into why I love clouds and why you should too

<p>Looking up at the sky to appreciate the tranquility of every day.</p>

Looking up at the sky to appreciate the tranquility of every day.

Poet William Butler Yeats once wrote, “I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above." While these words were written in a poem about the late Major Robert Gregory who served as an Irish aviator, I sometimes feel as if they were written for me because of how much comfort I find in them. You may be wondering how a 19-year-old girl could find solace in a poem like this — to that, I invite you to take a look at my love for clouds. 

Clouds have always held a special place in my heart. When I was younger, I could get lost for hours just watching them pass by. Unlike most children my age, I was never really one to look for animals or faces in clouds. Instead, I would close my eyes and embrace the feeling of serenity that came over me as I lay beneath the sky. I can actually still recall some days during recess when I would lay on the slide with my friends and just watch the clouds. 

I think at that time I was too naive to understand exactly why I was so obsessed with clouds. If anything, I am sure I just assumed it stemmed from my childlike curiosity. Whether it was UFOs or NASA or clouds, I was always on the hunt to find a new fixation within the skies. 

Unlike many of my earlier childhood fascinations, this one has seemed to stay. Today, I find that clouds have an even bigger impact on my life than they did before. 

As I have gotten older, that original serenity I felt while cloud-watching has turned into feelings of solitude and peace. If I am ever feeling stressed, I know that I can always gaze above and be centered by the mere presence of clouds. 

Aside from just the comfort of clouds in the sky, there is something so special about watching them drift in and out. I think they act as a metaphor of sorts, one in which they represent letting go and moving forward. I have found this perspective to be particularly useful when I am feeling stressed or worried about anything — whether that be in school or my personal life. I can think a thought and picture it as a cloud. Once that cloud leaves, so does that thought. It reminds me that I can choose to let go of thoughts that trouble me — and that has been incredibly freeing. 

Similarly, I think the shapes of clouds echo the changes that we go through in our lives. Just like those white blobs in the sky, we do not stay the same person forever. Instead, we are constantly changing and turning from one beautiful thing to another. It’s quite remarkable when you think about it. 

I know this may sound like a lot for something as simple as clouds. I also know that clouds can sometimes feel like a menace on a sunny day. However, we are so lucky to be surrounded by something so beautiful every day — and all we have to do is look up to see it. 

With all the time I spent indoors during quarantine, I realized how much of a positive impact clouds have on me, and I missed being able to appreciate them every day. As a result, I have made it my goal to try and get out more and just lay — basking in the tranquility of it all. 

Now, I am not going to ask you to go join the Cloud Appreciation Society — which you can actually become an official member of. I just hope that you can take some time and appreciate the beauty of such a simple yet meaningful part of nature. Maybe the next time you’re outside enjoying the summer weather, you can take a minute to gaze above at the clouds. 

Zoya Zahid is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com.

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