Yesterday I spent the evening jetting across the sky at forty thousand feet, in that space where the hallmark, anvil-shaped cells of meteorlogical fundamentals blast into the higher strata of atmosphere. They ascended from the cloud floor as a series of towers, the lot of them stretching hundreds of miles to the east. The sun burned them orange and their folds and crevasses seemed permanent and unyielding. One passed beneath us, eerily close, and I had no instinct for it, no lessons from the ancient plains or sevannas. Smiling, I regarded them perilous, in the same league as dark bergs looming in the sea.