I have been tinkering with words lately. Not writing as I am want to do but just turning the words over in my mind and rolling them across my tongue to get the feel of them. While reading a novel or even the newspaper I pick out a word to play with, to study, to analyze. It’s one way to occupy my mind that requires little from me and keeps me amused briefly. Then I got onto the reader part of my wordpress blog to check the works of others and discovered that a word-of-the-day is provided to get one started to write. Just what I needed. So, sky.
I was watching the sky while out for a walk just yesterday and thinking how it is constantly changing. The sky I watched at noon will never be exactly like that ever again. The clear vibrant blue of a summer day will be clear and blue on many other summer days, but it will not have exactly the same fade from shades of aqua to turquoise beginning so pale it’s almost white on one horizon and blending, bleeding into a royal hue on the opposite. Those puffy cotton-ball clouds playing against the robins egg blue of late spring mornings will have the shape of 8:28 a.m. on May 27 only that one time for that one moment. The dark green-gray clouds announcing the approach of a thunderstorm will hold the shape we see only for as long it takes the wind to march them into something else.
Flying from mid-America to New England a couple of months ago I saw the sky from up in it. Those puff ball clouds that we make imaginary shapes out of from below look very much like snow when looking down at them rather than up. Then I could not ignore the fact that there are bumps in the sky. So deceiving that serene smooth looking blue and white space way above our heads. Had I not ever flown in a plane I would not have considered how changing and formidable air is. Wind as I had experienced it on the ground seemed to present itself differently up in the sky. Stronger and unpredictable for all that it is invisible. No leaves to stir or flags to straighten out from the wind up here. It is felt, not seen.
The night sky holds separate wonders from the day. On cold clear winter nights when the wind has gone to sleep with everyone else and sleep doesn’t like me I wrap up in coat and gloves and walk under the bare trees looking up at stars that seem to be tiny pin holes in black satin letting only the wee small bit of light sneak through from the other side. I especially like the black night sky when there is snow and light seems to glow from under your feet into the night and then die before it reaches the divide between earth and sky. Winter’s naked trees form patterns of lace across the face of the moon and clouds, if there are any, seem to have captured the glowing light escaping from the snow below but can only hold it for a moment before the night becomes all shades of gray and black. I could sit and watch this sky for hours, but the cold chases me back into the house, leaving the sky to deepen into purple before allowing just a touch of light to melt into the east changing the purple to lavender before streaks of pale yellow announce dawn. A dawn similar to many others, but not ever exactly the same as any other. Each moment of the sky is unique, never to be again.