From morning to night, the wide windows in our new house draw my eyes outside and up to the sky.
Have you noticed how the sky is constantly changing? Of course, it’s so big, and so full of weather, it makes sense that every time I gaze up I see a different cloud formation, or a different shade of grey, or a different sweep of light and shade playing out across the landscape.
The sun rises over the corner of the field and several days this week, I’ve stood at the window absorbing the pink-orange glow behind the dark tangle of hedge. At that time in the morning, the sheep are still calm and still, the birds just stirring. At first, the rest of the sky is dark, but the daylight spreads quickly, even when it’s cloudy.
On a grumpy, mid-week school run, a huge rainbow brought a tremor of joy to our morning car ride as we chased both ends and drove under its impressive arc, the sky a brooding grey shot with light, then a blurred, deep, watery kind of blue.
It was windy today, and as the sun set, clouds moved steadily across the pink and blue: huge, tolkienesque mountain-like ones and great, soft, ocean-like billows.
Now, the dark, night sky is clear, massive and mysteriously reassuring. The stars are so many, so distant! We have given the constellations names, but they are uncontainable, the space they occupy unfathomable.
The vastness of the sky is a space where change is inevitable, natural and beautiful. The weather-scapes that swirl and float, thunder and rage, gather and disperse, come and go in an expanse that is gloriously, strangely huge enough.
This habit of looking up is healthy. Observing the sky allows for colour, light, surprise and joy.
And the sky acts like a mirror, too. From the deep, intense darkness of storm clouds; the quiet grey of dull, heavy skies; the golden edges where light breaks through and the lightness of white wisps of cloud in a bright, blue, we can see reflected and enlarged the scope of human emotion and experience.
But it’s big and ancient, the sky, and looking at it is a great comfort.