As I was growing up, my childhood home was not too far from a steel mill. Whenever we drove past it on the freeway, I remember, as a tiny girl, watching the smoke billow up to the sky from the tall chimneys. I had no idea that the mill’s purpose was to make steel. Instead, I thought it was making clouds. The smoke did not come out black or grey, but white, and it rose up to the air, seeming to join the rest of the clouds, which is why my naïve mind thought such a thing. It was such a magical notion, that vast mill there just to make clouds for the enjoyment of us all. I liked the cloud makers, and their noble purpose always made me smile… Until, I learned the disturbing truth that it was actually pollution.
We live in an industrial/residential area of Moscow, and there are many tall chimneys surrounding us and I am not sure what their purpose is. They are not noticeable during the summer, but in the winter, the billows of smoke from the chimneys are very noticeable and bring back my childhood memories of “cloud makers”. It’s a much more pleasant thought, than wondering if that smoke is slowly killing you and your family.
One afternoon while I was bored, I drew this picture on the magna-doodle. I know, it appears the wind must have made a complete turnaround from the above picture, but in my defense, I wasn’t looking outside while I drew it. The kids thought I was weird to draw such a thing, but it was amusing to me and seemed like an authentic sketch of our Moscow.