HOW TO CLOUDGAZE AT HOME
Clouds are galleries of constant change. They’re totally international: there are clouds wherever you are in the world.
In unprecedented times, with world-changing events crashing into our personal lives, whether there is loneliness, chaos, grief or joy; we all need time to sit and think and contemplate.
Gazing on clouds slows us down like a meteorological meditation. Sometimes clouds are the only part of the natural world you can see from your home – the skies are yours and mine, and they are completely free to view.
TO START GAZING
To cloud gaze, simply make sure that you can see the sky. Ideally you’ll be lying down on a giant cushion outside somewhere – but this isn’t essential. You could be in a chair in a back garden, a rug in the park or on your bed looking out of a window.
If you have sunglasses, put them on, even on a grey day. The sky is often brighter than you think (and sunglasses allow you to pick out details).
If you’ve a blanket, snuggle into it. Be as comfy as possible.
If you can, give yourself uninterrupted time to relax without distraction. Just 20 minutes is a good time to stare upwards and marvel at the troposphere.
The main thing is to simply to be comfy and to have a view of the sky.
Cloud gazing might sound meditative, but even the stillest-seeming of clouds are in constant turmoil. Did you know the average life expectancy of a cloud is just ten minutes? This means that they are always changing. As you watch, let your mind wander. Listen to the sounds around you. Breathe deeply.
If you have downloaded the CLOUDSCAPES AT HOME podcast, once you’re comfy, simply start listening.
On the next page is a cloud identification chart of the ten main cloud types or ‘genera’. Even ‘featureless’ grey skies are far more complicated than you might think once you pay them some attention.
If there are no clouds at all, then you could just stare at the beauty of the blue sky above – at the edge of the horizon line you should see how light it is compared to the darker blue at the apex of sky. You might also notice birds or chimney stacks or dust and pollen particles – it is surprising how complicated even clear blue skies can be.
Words by Lorna Rees, Illustrations by Heidi Steller
Digital audio content designed and produced by Joanne Tyler
Written and performed by Lorna Rees
Cloudscapes was originally commissioned by Inside Out Dorset.
Cloudscapes at Home was redeveloped during Lockdown in 2020 with assistance from:
101 Creation Space, The Pound Arts, Arts Council England