I’m a cloud-watcher.
Though I was rarely one to lay on my back in summertime, imagining shapes and patterns in a cloudy sky, I am fascinated by weather — and tend to document anything unusual I see. (This leads to lots of cloud-related chaos on Instagram, but I’m all right with it.)
Growing up, I wanted to be a meteorologist — a passion that persisted until I realized how much math is involved in the science of weather. Long fascinated by hurricanes and tornadoes, I used to sit at my grandparents’ house watching The Weather Channel (or TWC, if you’re cool like me) for hours. As this was the ’90s, I’d track the storms on their primitive radar, listening for the first rumble of a storm and informing family if we could expect nasty winds.
My uncle Jim, one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known, used to pop by to see us at my grandmother’s when we were young — and he wouldn’t get two steps in the door before asking with a cheeky grin, “Megan, what’s the weather this week?”
I always had an answer.
Uncle Jim gave me my first farmer’s almanac, and I carried that tattered paperback around everywhere. It was great supplementary material to my frequent TWC viewings, and I loved “predicting” winter storms when hurricane and tornado season had passed.
Tornadoes were the best.
Being such a cautious worrywart now, it’s funny to think I once fashioned myself a storm chaser. I dreamed of moving out to Oklahoma or Kansas, wandering free in Tornado Alley, and reporting back to headquarters like Helen Hunt in “Twister.” In fact? Helen Hunt was my idol. Spencer and I watched that movie again not long ago, and it was still so awesome.
I went down a different path, obviously — editing and writing and studying Shakespeare. My dreams of meteorology dissolved sometime around high school. But there’s still a little part of me that appreciates and studies and daydreams about the weather . . .
. . . and can’t pass up a good cloud photo.