Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds

posted in Blog, Creation, Life in General | Monday, June 4th, 2012

This evening as the final curtain of warm sunlight was being lifted up and over the tall trees in my neighborhood, I stood in the driveway holding the handle of an extension leash while my kids’ dog, Gracie, was searching for the perfect section of grass on which to do her business. It was quiet as quiet goes in a suburban community when most people are inside their homes, winding down the day. The blue bowl of the sky was on the dark side of medium directly overhead and blended down through lighter blues to the edges of the earth, where it was begging to turn to orange.

The contrail of a jet a little to the south of me split the sky in two as the sun-reflecting dash, then dot, of the plane’s metal body shrank, and finally disappeared, on the far horizon. The thickening line, still intact from one end to the other, began to separate and coalesce in place, taking on the appearance of a long string of code. Like embedded instructions written in an unfurled strand of double helix stretched across the broad cerulean. I was mesmerized.

A second jet appeared from over the houses, making a parallel track to the first. It was as if missiles were being launched from Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport. The brightly lit speck scratched two tiny marks that quickly merged into one thin chalk line that slowly expanded and revealed yet another undecipherable message of airborne DNA.

As I turned to the north, head still craned back like a broken bobble-head doll, the sky presented a very different kind of unreadable message. Above me, a long sentence of cloud, arcing but baseline flat across the bottom, had formed with repetitive vertical strokes very much resembling Arabic calligraphy. I reached for my iPhone to take a picture of it but my pocket was empty.

Pivoting to the west, the cyclorama presented yet another style of art. The scene appeared as a seascape of white-capped waves, with a predominant wave in the foreground. The wind (the actual wind in the sky) was moving the “waves” toward the shore in a surprisingly realistic view similar to watching the vast waters from a distant cliff. A slow-motion, live IMAX experience in ocean blue and sunset-tinged white.

The whole of the heavens was like a page in a sketchbook, filled with quickly rendered explorations of diverse thoughts and ideas. I was the observer in the gallery, awe-struck by the imagery.

I looked down just in time to see that moment when the dog first noticed the cat in my neighbor’s yard. Gracie launched like a rocket, trying to break the sound barrier of her own barking. I’ve never seen her move so quickly. My arm jerked as the zipping extension line reached its limit. A close call, but the cat (which flew like a feline in mortal fear of losing the last of its nine lives) would graciously live to see another day.

Hopefully, I too will live to see another day. But whether I do or not, I’m thankful for this one.


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