Don’t Forget to Look at the Sky

As my dad and I visited the other day, we talked about noticing things; for instance, how the sky changes from hour to hour, day to day. We talked about what a gift it was to have the time to take in all the beauty around us.

When the last storms rumbled up the East Coast, the sky was amazing. We went to Hampton Beach to watch the surf come charging in, and the waves were big enough to bring out a few brave surfers. But more incredible than the waves was the sky. Where the horizon met the ocean, the sky was a luminous silvery blue with flashes of gold. It was breathtaking.

We are fortunate that we can enjoy the sunsets by simply looking out of the front porch door. They have been gorgeous; peony pinks, golden peach, lavender blue; then they softly fade into darker blue. Later on, we can  look straight up and see the Big Dipper. At this time of year, the stars are lambent and feel somehow closer.

On the back porch, we can watch the moon rise in a deep blue velvet sky. In the morning, we can wake up and look out of our bedroom window to see the sunrise; splashes of pearl pink and red-orange over the golden corona of the sun.

When I was a little girl staying over night at my grandparents’ home on a summer night, I would sleep on the old porch swing on the sun porch. Before falling asleep I could watch the moon rise over the lake, making a silvery path all the way to shore. It was about that time that the frog chorus would begin, and I would drop off to the comforting ‘chug-a-rum, chug-a-rum’ concert.

There is something magical about the sky, whether clear or cloudy, rainy or sunny. I can’t help but see pictures in the clouds as they scud by; puffy elephants, bears, whales, horses, angels, cats and more striding across the sky. My favorite clouds are what we always called “mares’ tails;” those long wispy, trailing clouds that look as though a child has taken silvery-white paint in both hands and streaked it generously across that vast eternal blue.

On warm summer nights when the Crankee Yankee and I have sat out on the front porch, we have enjoyed watching the sky sink into deeper blue as the little brown bats flit off to catch bugs. At that time of day, the birds gather in the trees to gossip about the day’s events before they settle down for the night. With the moonrise, the stars begin to wink and sparkle, and time seems magical.

As cold weather begins to set in, the sky changes to an icier blue, and the stars appear to be sharper and more defined. When I see Orion striding across the sky, I know that the cold weather is on its way. What a wonderful thing it is to look out at the sky and appreciate all that glory!

I read somewhere that, when an artist dies, he or she gets to paint the next sunset. My mom designed and made beaded jewelry, and her color sense was incredible. She put amazing colors together in her jewelry; turquoise and cobalt, candy pink with gold and amber accents, black with aqua and periwinkle, silver and lime, ruby red with crystal and purple, lavender with peach and pearl, and so much more.

The evening of the day she died, the sky was splashed with gold, purple, peach, and pink; a beautiful tribute to a beautiful life.

Dad said, “people should look at the sky more often.” I couldn’t agree more.

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