Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ecstasy


Tomorrow and the next day I will be in transit to New England.
What will I miss most? That's easy. The sky.

The dark, star-spangled night. The Milky Way. Young and old moons, whisper thin. The dance of planets.

Rainbows, morning and evening. Billowing cloud towers. Lightning at dusk, far out on the horizon.

But especially, dawns and sunsets.

Mine was perhaps the last generation that grew up with the illustrations of Maxfield Parrish and N. C. Wyeth. I expected skies to look like that in the Parrish painting above (Ecstasy, click to enlarge), golden clouds on cobalt blue, suffused with ethereal light.

Of course, it never looked like that at my home in Chattanooga, surrounded as we were by tall, shadowy pines. Nor in any other place I lived, boxed in by buildings and artificial light. The sky should be half of our visual field; I never had more than keyhole glances. A Maxfield Parrish sky was as much of a fairy tale as Snow White and Rose Red.

Until I came here. Now, on almost any morning, I can stand on the terrace in my skivvies, rather like the girl in the painting here, and welcome sunrise in all its Parrish/Wyeth splendor.

This morning the Sun came up a squeak to the north of due east. Yesterday was the equinox. The Sun's going north, and so must I. Back with you on the weekend.