not so lonesome as a cloud

It was an idle remark in an unguarded moment.

Nice cloud I observe to no one in particular. It’s apparently way too imprecise for my companion. “That’s a cumulus mediocris,” says he, smirking knowingly.

Great! Like, it’s not enough that we booked our tickets through Qantas. I get to sit next to the nebula nerd for four hours … in the sky.

Hey, you, get off my cloud.

“No seriously,” barometric boy says, “if you like clouds you should join the Cloud Appreciation Society.” Right, sure. Do I look like one of those gullible every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining types?

“Honestly it exists. There are a couple of us in it at work.”

I am thunderstruck. Who?

“Well, Cathy, John … me.”

You think you know someone and all of a sudden wham! A bolt out of the blue.

Turns out there’s a whole city in the sky. The Cloud Appreciation Society has 28,173 paid up members around the world including 1526 in Australia.

The Melbourne chapter includes at least one commercial airline pilot – obviously an occupational requirement to have his head in the clouds so to speak.

The society’s manifesto proclaims it to be a group dedicated to “fighting the banality of blue-sky thinking”.

This is a group you won’t hear bemoaning clouds on the horizon.

They know the truth about Wordsworth who “wandered lonely as a cloud” mainly because he wrote awful poetry.

Looking out the window onto rippling a ocean of white, backlit by gold as the plane dips its wing and turns toward home, a hand steals across mine. “A mix of cumulus and stratus,” my knowledgeable neighbour murmurs.

Really, I’d call it cloud nine.

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