An Ocean Of Sky



Last Thursday, I sat on my deck after an achingly long day and gazed up in wonder at a giant eye gazing back at me.

A puff of water vapor, shaped like an ellipse, was centered directly over the half moon and a soft, yellow ring was created by the moon's light.

Paired with the moon, that bare hint of moisture created one of the loveliest moments I have spent alone.

Timeless moments passed and the cloud drifted right.

The corresponding yellow ring of iris became the eye of a grey whale, aerodynamic and buoyant, swimming through a sea of starlight.

As I watched, the whale's great tail seemed to move lazily back and forth, pushing it on through the velvet night.

Back on Earth, my dog Malcolm nosed under my hand to be petted while a cool wind invited my porch chimes to dance a twinkling tune.

My whale opened its mouth and took a gulp of sky before it morphed into a hammerhead shark with a mouthful of teeth.

My great grandmother taught me to look at clouds and imagine.

We watched an alligator eat a suitcase while lying on a hillside covered in poppies near the Superstition Mountains.

On a late night commute, down the Beeline to Mesa, I encountered a sky ribbed with clouds, disturbingly beautiful.

I felt I was driving under the textured belly of a an H.R. Giger painting.

The tail of my whale turned shark is dissipating with the winds or my reminiscences.

But the eye remained.

It became part of the face of a smiling man with a bulbous nose before its fluffy pieces drift away.

We see, I believe, what we want to see -- even when we stop, our breath taken away, in the awe of a sky unpolluted by a city's blinding neon.

I saw my first falling star here in 1998.

A couple years later in the wee hours of the night, snuggled with blankets and hot cocoa in the back of my truck, my daughter and I watched Perseid meteors streak across the sky. We lost count after 200.

When the natives of this area hundreds of years ago looked up and saw a cloud had blanketed the moon to make a giant eye did they feel awe?

If so, was it fearful or did it delight their souls?

Like the Greeks, they named constellations for what was sacred to them.

The Lakota Indians of the Dakota's looked at the sky and named constellations Bear's Tipi and Hoop Maker.

Ancient man saw portents in the sky and neared in history used the night sky to navigate.

I am neither a sailor, nor much of a night owl anymore, so I have no need to navigate by starlight.

What I do need, although I had forgotten, (and there must be others who had forgotten) is to sit on my deck, ‘neath a canopy of starlight and just breathe.

Oh yeah, and pet Malcolm.

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