My life is usually so busy that I rarely pause for thought. As much as I try to listen to Radio 4’s ‘Thought For The Day‘, which I find uplifting, challenging and wise in equal measure, in reality I’m usually at work by 7.45 am or at least on a train somewhere to it. Then along came a bike accident, a knee injury and rehabilitation. Suddenly doctors surgery’s and hospital waiting rooms become a lacuna for thought.
The knee injury has prevented me from working on my orchard, which is frustrating as spring is a vital time to set to work on cherry trees. However I am lucky to have a fit and strong horticulture partner, who in my absence, thoughtfully sent me a photo of the first blossom. Not just of spring but the first ever cherry blossom on the orchard! Whilst I could not be there in person I decided to take a lesson from Japanese culture and enjoy Hanami, to take time to marvel at the amazing photo.
Hanami or the festival of cherry blossom viewing encourages us to;
Simply enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or a group of trees. From a distance, the trees appear as beautiful clouds, while the beauty of single blossoms can be enjoyed from a close distance.
To enjoy ‘as beautiful as a cloud’ reminded me of something else I had been neglecting, my membership to the Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS). As an amateur meteorologist, or really just having a rather British obsession with the weather, I joined the CAS after hearing its founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney speak at the Royal Meteorological Society. Captivated I started to stare at the skies, rather than just taking that blue background with cotton ball lumps, for granted.
The sky, it’s a big subject but CAS is no offering a new ‘Cloud-a-Day’ e-mail service. Each day an e-mail pops into my account containing a beautiful, mystical or hilariously shaped cloud, with a brief but through description and explanation for it’s formation. In a busy world Mr Pretor-Pinney provides a mobile thought for the day, something I can pause to look at whatever waiting room I am in. I feel thoroughly cheered up on gloomy painful days by the clouds and if you would like to be lifted too, to enjoy the sky whilst stuck on the underground or in a windowless office you can sign up here.