Southern California is not generally known for its beautiful skies. During the summer, I often cannot see the foothills that are, you will notice, not very far away. Smog collects against the hills, bringing close, hot, awful days and stunningly beautiful sunsets. During spring and autumn, however, the two quasi-seasons (for we don’t really have seasons here, at least not proper ones) during which we experience the blessed, if brief, kiss of rain, the smog is occasionally washed away. Immediately following a rain storm, the clouds begin to break apart to allow the clear, blue sky to show through the cracks.
If we are very lucky, huge, puffy, white clouds will stick around for a few hours. I like these clouds because they seem so full of promise. On those summer days when it is over 100 degrees and the air is dreadfully still, we will often get these huge white (ish… they appear slightly brown when viewed through the smoggy haze) thunderheads burgeoning up behind the mountains, but they are so far away. The puffy clouds after a rain are close, almost touchable, and are somehow comforting compared to those sinister-seeming thunderheads. Puffy clouds mean no harm. One can appreciate their beauty without having to consider the wild, untamed, stark, often violent beauty of nature.
The picture below shows my favorite thing about huge, white clouds: billowy, blindingly white mottled with lovely shades of gray and blue and pink.
It’s supposed to rain again tonight, so I’m looking forward to more days of beautiful skies.