Lesson Eight: Cloud Gazing

When I was a child I used to look up at the clouds and liken the wispy elements forming in the sky above  to animals and people I knew.

I remember lying back on our trampoline and losing myself in my natural surroundings.

As I grew up, I didn’t have time for that kind of day dreaming, and often spent my hours outside either reading (for school or uni) or writing (for school or uni).

When I first met my husband, we immediately began to spend all of our weekends together – going out for lunch, taking walks along our local high street, and relaxing with a coffee and newspapers in a park. As the day wore on, we would lay out in the grass and look up at the sky. It was a joyous, intimate moment and we talked about our dreams as we saw pictures forming in the clouds above.

My husband used to be a cloud watcher as a child too, but he’d been extremely engrossed in work for a long time. In an attempt to draw him out in the world around him, I bought him this gorgeous book called ‘The Cloud Collectors Handbook’ which I thought we would use as we lay around in parks on lazy Sunday mornings.

As shortly after we fell pregnant, we have struggled to fit in cloud gazing to our hectic parenting and work schedule.

Now my little one is two and a half, we can enjoy walks outside together and she helps me to appreciate the natural world again. A short walk to the car turns into a fascinating discovery of five different types of green leaves – varying in size, shape and texture. She loves to pick up the most flawless flower, adding the better one to her collection as she goes. Together, we breathe them in, and marvel.

Be it picking flowers or by watching clouds, my eighth lesson is about stopping and immersing herself in your surroundings, and as one of my favourite playwrights so perfectly put it:

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” Tom Stoppard.

About the author

Elissa De Heer

I have been studying on and off for years and have postgraduate degrees in English Literature (Masters) and Teaching (Masters), a Diploma in Editing, and a Certificate in English Language Teaching.

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