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Looking up

November 18, 2015

I drove to work during a tornado warning today.

You know how drivers are always admonished to “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD!”?

I was not doing a very good job keeping my eyes on the road.  I was keeping my eyes on the sky.  The dark, twisty, sullen, ominous sky that had already produced at least one water spout in the Gulf of Mexico, and apparently also one in Choctawhatchee Bay, I later heard.

I didn’t see anything, to my relief and slight disappointment.  But I drove through mucho raino, which did have its dramatic moments.

What is it about the sky?  What is so magnetizing about it?

On days like today it’s a no-brainer: the sky has the potential to produce a monster, and so we watch it for signs of swirling anger.  But even on beautiful days we gaze into the clear blue, or at the puffy clouds.  We marvel at rainbows and sunsets.

It’s just as good at night.  We stare into the heavens, gaping at constellations and planets and the cold burn of faraway stars, gasping at the flash of meteors streaking to their doom, burning out bright.

Perhaps it’s because it’s so vast.  Perhaps it’s because it is varying and unpredictable.

Or perhaps it’s because we’re earthbound, envious of the birds who, with the flick of a feather, defy gravity and soar far above the petty grievances, desperate heartbreaks, and soul-numbing tediousness that taints life on this whirling ball of dirt.


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