Last week, after a day of wild rain and wind, my husband and I ventured out on the last day of our South Carolina vacation. We biked along lush paths, sat by the pool to soak up some sun, and then drove to one of the beaches we have come to love. We walked down the long path to the beach. On either side there were dunes and a creek and scrub pines laden with huge pinecones. As we approached the fencing, we saw the vast expanse of sand, sea, and sky.
The sky was decorated with amazing clouds. I gasped and thought, “This is what sublime is. Sublime is the surf and sky dotted with this dramatic cloud cover in shades that run from bright white to cream to pale blue to pink to lavender. I said to my husband, “This beach is never the same twice. There is always something new and beautiful. Just look at that sky!”
I started to laugh remembering a time I spent last year with a group of three-years-old children, who were observing the cloud formations and commenting on all the shapes they saw. Some saw turtles and pirate ships, others saw castles and giraffes. Of course, one young pragmatist clearly proclaimed, “Don’t be silly! They all look like mashed potatoes!” I wrote more about this here.
As a poet, photographer, and teacher, I am attracted to the elusive nature of clouds. They represent creativity and possibility. They can shape-shift. If I was a superhero, I think that’s the superpower I would like – to change my structure – to become something else and then something else again. Clouds break apart and come together; they change color and shape and quality. They embody what it means to be creative. They are the definition of sublime. I wrote more my connection with clouds as inspiration here.