Contemplate the entire Universe
As a magic show
On the grandest scale imaginable.
Fabulous art, an immense painting in motion.
God is a magician whirling galaxies of fire,
Juggling atoms, planets, and us.
Everything, everything is fleeting.
~Lorin Roche, PhD, The Radiance Sutras
Years ago, when I first began my travels West, I discovered the astounding beauty of skies. I was immediately captivated by the idea that beauty is love made visible, a statement I came across in a book I was reading at the time. I’m sure you’ve heard of the vastness of Western skies. Being able to see for what seems like forever is amazing. But the colors and cloud formations are unlike anything I had witnessed. I could remember so few sky images from the past. Was I too preoccupied in my former life to notice? Or was there too much light pollution in the East to appreciate the ethers? I can’t say for sure, but now I find that I photograph skyscapes as often as anything else.
It was in the tiny village of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico that I first saw a double rainbow. What a heart-opening experience! According to reference.com, a double rainbow is actually an optical illusion caused by sunlight entering a drop of rain, creating two internal reflections. It is also considered a symbol of transformation and good fortune. It certainly made me feel fortunate!
When I return to the East Coast and share the myriad of pictures taken on my journeys, I’m often asked, is the sky really that blue out there? And my answer is yes, when it’s not pink, orange, silver, black, or yellow! We do have the boldest blue sky I’ve ever seen (not just in the Southwest but in California & the Northwest, as well.) I’ve read opposing viewpoints on why the sky is so blue. Initially, I understood that dust was responsible for making it seem so vivid, and you know the desert has a lot of dust. But recently, I’ve seen that very clean air is required to get the boldest blue. Regardless of the reason, I’m grateful to be able to witness it (almost) every day.
As for the other colors often present in Western skies, a Science Daily article indicates they are due to the scattering of various molecules, light wavelengths, and our ability to perceive. Apparently, our eyes are more sensitive to some colors, and we are able to detect only a limited number of the hues present. But, what an amazing palette we have the opportunity to see! Sunrises of baby blues and bold pinks, monsoon and snowstorm sunsets with an extraordinary range of colors, and pastel pink snow skies heralding more of the gorgeous white stuff is on the way.
When it’s cold and raining,
You are more beautiful.
And the snow brings me
Even closer to your lips.
The inner secret, that which was never born,
You are that freshness, and I am with you now.
I can’t explain the goings, or the comings.
You enter suddenly, and I am nowhere again. Inside the majesty. ~Rumi
Night skies are fascinating in their own right. There are so many stars! And, the moon is sometimes so brilliant that I’m compelled to get up at night and look out the window. Its shine can be like a partially-dimmed sun.
Beauty must be love made visible. Looking upon the many spectacular skies with which we are gifted, my heart overflows and I am enveloped by a sense of wonder. I am grateful for my travels and my new home in the American West, where beauty emanates from every direction.
Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky. ~Hafez
Blessings for Beautiful Skyscapes,