The Natural World

Seeing Your Future in the Clouds

As children, many of us have laid down on the grass and watched the clouds float by finding various shapes, meanings, and objects in cloud symbolism.

As an adult, I had stopped watching clouds the way that I did as a child. Although mindful of cloudy days, I had stopped looking for meaning or images anymore. Somehow I had lost the ability to watch clouds.

Recently while doing yoga on a tranquil lake, I was in the downward dog position looking at the water upside down and, for the first time, enjoyed seeing life turned on its head. I then flipped over and laid on my back and practiced the bridge pose. As I stretched my back, I looked up into the blue cloud covered sky and saw many things.

The first thing I saw was the beauty of the sky and the billowy clouds passing overhead. I then started to make images out of the clouds and saw many things including an arrow, a boat, a car and some smoke. Hmmm I thought. What do these mean? Maybe nothing, but maybe I was being given a message about my life and about change that was coming.

Life felt in transition again, and although I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, I could feel the changes in my body, I could hear the movement in the wind, and I could sense change all around me. Now the clouds were possibly telling me the future. My life was on the move and the clouds mirrored this in their images.

No longer a child, but an experienced adult, I reflected on the past, present, and future. My past was gone, although remnants remained, the present was stable, but the future was full of change and transition. Could I trust the clouds to direct my life? Probably not, but I knew that nature also holds answers to common everyday questions and that if we learn how to listen to the sound of the winds, the meaning of the clouds, and the changes in the seasons, we too could learn to see, hear and experience guidance.

As children we are so full of hope and optimism. We are full of joyful play and experimentation. We do not reject life or how the meaning of life comes to us in different forms, such as in nature. Children are present and live fully in the world around them. Adults no longer have the time, space or desire to look at the clouds anymore. Somehow we think other things are more important.

Doing yoga on the dock of the small lake, I found some lost joys of my childhood and found myself enjoying a childhood passion, watching the clouds again.

Maybe the clouds can tell our future. Maybe not, but maybe it’s worth your time to be still, to be silent, and to look. Take the time to listen to your own inner guidance, and that of the clouds. What is your future? Maybe the clouds can tell you.