Sunday, August 14, 2005

Big sky

When I first moved to Wisconsin, more than 25 years ago, I was completely overwhelmed by the sky. Somehow it seemed to occupy more space than it deserved – there was more of it in proportion to land.

Last night, my east-coast residing daughters, home for a visit, were dazzled by the sunset. Though I sharpened the tones a little, I did not tamper with the colors themselves – the photos in the post below are quite authentic.

But it was also the clarity that they found so breathtakingly beautiful. Out east, the everpresent haze means that the sharp brilliance of the blue sky is a rare thing. More often, the sky hovers between a murky gray and a fuzzy slate blue.

Why should it matter? It’s only sky – nothingness filtered through ozone layers. Why be impressed by it? Why demand of it anything other than that it not deliver horrible damaging rain and sleet?

Like oceans and lakes, skies in their vastness have the power to set moods. Night stars, layers of storm clouds, clear days all provide contrasts that cause you to react. You cannot be indifferent to it. You confront it. And here, in Madison, there is much to react to. There’s a huge sky out there, there really is.

Madison Aug 05 198
Sunday morning bike ride