Nov 9, 2009

Ah, it's a cloudy day!

I like cloudy days.
True, I had my share of bright sunny days this summer to last a long while. I suppose the gray days are a novelty.
Upon reflection, it seems to me to be a chance to focus here and now and not be gazing into the past or future.
Especially at night, when I gaze into clear heavens, I can’t help but think of the past. Seeing stars reminds me of how humans mark time.  I think of geologic time measured. I think of how ancient people looked at the same planets and stars that I look at. I ponder that crazy notion of “light years”.
I remember stargazing from the mountain top or laying on my back in sand at the seashore.
A cloudy night on the other hand, has me staring at what is in front of my face:  silhouettes of branches, chunks of limestone fossil.  Drift wood on the beach. The darkness is a sealed envelope that prevents my looking beyond this world to the infinite spaces of the Milky Way.
I regard the absence of clear skies at night or blue skies during the day the same way. If the sun is up early and shining brightly, I am seduced to wake up and head to the light of day! My pace is quick to cover ground in order not to miss what may sprout up this morning!
I love sparkling clear days with blue skies. Especially the way the light is in New Mexico or at high elevations in Mexico. But my attention is far away; as far as I can see. I soak in the visuals: the distant mountain peak, the pine-covered ridge, the rolling valley and faded blue hills on the horizon.
But when the clouds conceal the sparkle of sunlight, my pace is slower. I notice the things close in.
I like to be reminded to use other senses than sight, when that visibility is reduced.
I remember the smells more on a cloudy day. I remember the muted quietness.
Nature reminds me to be still.

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