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With respect and admiration for Joni Mitchell…

sunrise - interesting cloud - layers of texture

Joni Mitchell looked at the clouds and saw angel hair and ice cream castles.  During the Christmas holidays, while on the ground at the airport,  I saw gray rain clouds and my vision was delays and irritation.  But our pilot took off that early morning and found a layer of clear sky between the clouds. I was struck by the beauty of the colors of the sunrise and the shapes and textures of the clouds.  My attitude brightened along with the sky.

sky becoming bluer-still pink-layers of fluffy clouds

The science of these pictures is that the color of the clouds is a reflection of sunlight on water vapor.  The light is both direct and filtered by other water vapor in the atmosphere. The filtering of the light by the cloud layers above casts shadows.  But the beauty of the clouds, to me, is a reflection of the gifts we are given by our God.  As a child, I used to look up at the clouds and imagine that heaven was on the top side of them.  Now, when I look a photo of the top side of the clouds and the rising sun, I feel like if I look far enough into the horizon, that image of heaven might come into focus.

shaddows light and texture - clouds and blue sky - color intensity

As the sun rose higher in the sky (or as science tells us, the earth rotation continued), the difference in the cloud type and texture at different layers become more striking.  I also noticed the differences in sky color at different altitudes as the sunlight is filtered through the atmosphere.  Not heaven, perhaps, but now I imagine hints of the gateway to space in the upper, darker part of the sky.

What imaginings do these pictures evoke for you?