Light in the Sky


Recent weather systems have ushered in some glorious skyscapes, with a delightful play of light and shadow, color and texture, gracing the space above us. Cool days and crisp nights herald the coming of autumn, weeks before the equinox arrives. Sunsets come earlier and sunrises, later. Sunlight glances in on a slant distinctly different from that of high summer. We can feel the change in the air.

Of all these seasonal changes, one that tickles me most is the light in the sky. Clouds, lit from beyond, cast shadows of blue or gray that seem to support the white billows above. As gentle winds send undulating waves through the prairie grasses and set the tall, yellow Silphium and Helianthus to wave rollicking across the landscape, breezes usher low clouds across the sky in a procession of festive forms.

Any time of day might offer a show or feature a surprise, like the red moon that shone down upon us in September, just past full, ruddy with the residue of western wildfires. For those of us fortunate enough to be under a cloudless sky, August’s solar eclipse was something rare and wonderful to experience. Those even more fortunate caught a glimpse of the elusive aurora borealis in September.

No matter where you are, in city or town or out and away, you might catch a glimpse of the parade in the sky. For my part, I prefer to see it framed in nature, cast in a setting of leafy trees or adorned by the nodding spikelets of tall grasses.

Pause to breathe deeply; capture a moment of quiet; see the seasonal skyscape.  Go ahead. Take a look. Raise your gaze and smile back at the sky.