Cloud’s Illusions

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We were flying due north, New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristos on our right—the southern spine of the Rocky Mountains—and I kept wondering when we were going to turn right, towards our destination, Chicago. We passed the mountain channels planes usually fly through for the smoothest ride. And kept going. We were well past Colorado—I’m sure into Wyoming—and kept going, and then the pilot came on. “The reason so many of your flights were cancelled”—mine was—“and that so many were delayed”—my rebooked flight really was—“was because of a massive storm system that covered the eastern half of the country. It shut everything down, and we’ve been catching up for over a day. As a matter of fact, if you look off to the right in a few minutes, you’ll see what caused it all.” And there is was, a magnificent fabric of puffs and ripples, deep troughs and lacy peaks.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now