The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.
-Henry David Thoreau
I saw a hippo, a seal and a dolphin this week and I was nowhere near a zoo. My neighborhood had sightings of Mickey Mouse as well as an an elephant wearing a top hat. There was no traveling circus or a Disney themed birthday party. I simply looked up.
In full disclosure, this Time Travel Tuesday started more than a week ago when my daughter first pointed out a palm tree growing in the sky. Ever since, the constantly evolving menagerie has grown wonderfully distracting. The sleeping sea horse was a welcome sight after encountering a dinosaur with a open jaw full of teeth. There was even a poodle performing tricks at the dog park, or rather above it.
My daughter will be four in a couple of weeks and nobody has told her yet that all the real important stuff is going on at eye level. Or maybe it is because she is three feet tall and that is the only direction she can look to see anything. Whatever the reason, I am glad she is around to remind me to look up once in a while.
We checked out Eric Carle’s Little Cloud book from the library, packed the car with pillows, blankets and snacks and tried to make a day of it. But our enchanting playmates have joined forces more than once to turn into huge, menacing summer storms. So our glimpses have been stolen from park benches or at stoplights in the car. Instead of one day of time travel, we have a new favorite past time every day.
I honestly don’t remember an outing where cloud watching was the planned activity as a kid. I do, however, remember being 12. I also remember my utter embarrassment when my parents suggested we go to the neighborhood park for a picnic. I probably would have dropped to the ground in dramatic pre-teen girl fashion and completely lost it, if my parents suggested we go “watch clouds”. Unlike me at that age, my 12-year old son was intrigued. He shared opinions on places with the best views. Even though the actual outing was a wash, just planning it has me looking at the world a little differently and has my son looking at me a little differently. Who is this woman with her head in the clouds and what has she done with my mom?
By the way, we are not alone. There is a Cloud Appreciation Society that hosts an annual cloud watching festival. The website has lots of cool pictures, poems, songs, everything imaginable inspired by clouds!
When is the last time you looked up?