Bright, shining comets of crimson, azure and gold soar into the sky, swirling, whistling, crackling. Heads tilt, eyes fixed heavenward at the fiery display and spirits soar until the last booming burst. Then, silence. Darkness. Now what? The euphoria dwindles gradually, like a candle. It must. How tiresome to be in fireworks mode for long.
A sharp, clear night sky of stars also fills me with awe. At dusk I step outside to consider the expanse above me – infinite, enveloping my world, planet earth, a tiny dot in a universe of galaxies beyond galaxies. The cosmos puts me, my individual self, into perspective. I feel fragile, vulnerable, yet strangely comforted. Is heaven there somewhere? God? My thinking is restricted by my human need for a defining space and time. I ponder but know it’s beyond my comprehension, which is what makes it so wonderful. Overpowering. Does the night sky attract little notice because it is always there?
As is the daytime sky. But some do take notice, contemplating the clouds, their changing shapes, colors and movements. At dusk, I’ll call my husband away from his desk to the window to view salmon-hued clouds, arranged like a series of sand dunes. To work my writer’s imagination, I attempt to find words to describe the shapes of clouds, but they resist being labeled, too ethereal to be tied down to a word. Yet, their mere presence challenges. Scarves, fish bones, shreds of chiffon, piles of sheep wool, dinosaur fossils, drifting spirits, a scattering of pebbles.
Because the sky and space are there, with an unquenchable thirst, we send forth balloons, rockets, satellites, robots, fireworks, plumes of toxins, and, just maybe, prayers.