Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothin’ but blue skies do I see
Blue days all of them gone
Nothin’ but blue skies from now onIrving Berlin Blue Skies lyrics
Startling blue skies. Blue like I haven’t seen in a long time. That blue. So blue it looks artificial. The blue of filtered, photo shopped, or doctored skies and ocean waters. Robins’ eggs. Blue Jays. Forget-Me-Nots. My grandmother’s turquoise ring, the large one she wore on her ring finger.
And the clouds. So fluffy and white. Like giant cotton balls. Like unflavored cotton candy, the spun sugar forming masses of puffy sweet clouds on invisible paper cones. Clouds like we rarely see; yet to be named shapes – bunnies, turtles, trees smiling faces. Laundry-line white puffs of vapor.
The clouds were just as unreal as the color of the sky in which they floated.
I was struck by it. All of it. So picturesque. Actually awe-inspiring. It couldn’t possibly be real. Could it? A gorgeously stunning blue sky with fairy-tale like clouds drifting so slowly their movement was almost imperceptible.
Those types of skies don’t happen, not really. Not here.
Grey. Our skies are grey, almost always. Rain. Freak thunderstorms. More rain. A tornado out of nowhere, ironically on the 10th anniversary of the last one. So much rain. Always a chance. Always the rain. A dull grey, always. More grey days than Seattle – they’ve just got a more persistent marketing department and have managed to claim it, to spin it into a gimmick – “Always carry an umbrella, You’re in Seattle, after all.”
If someone asked, I’m not sure I could quickly find our sunscreen. But I know we have some. We visit the coast. We see family in places where the sun is bright. We visit states with wide open spaces, fields, prairies, beaches; places we’re likely to get burned by the solar orb we’re so unaccustomed to seeing daily. Places where the sun isn’t filtered through the usual haze of our grey overcast skies.
The beauty of the clean turquoise-y sea blue sky took my breath away. It was worthy of notice. It’s unexpectedness especially noticeable at a time when my soul feels as heavy, dreary, grey, and muddy as the usual spring weather of our region. Especially noticeable when the world seems to be enveloped in a giant grey thundercloud.
The storm clouds darken my soul. My emotional being is heavy, sodden, weighed down by current events. I’m tired. The confusion and sorrow surrounding the current state of our collective human condition causes a lack of sleep. My head is a constant thump, thump, thump. The conflict is palpable in public, it’s always us versus them.
Public safety, health and well being versus the individual. Centuries of oppression versus privilege and the illusion of safety. Lower versus upper. Right versus Left. Supposed heathens versus the supposed godly. Change versus the status quo.
Those fighting for change are trying to improve society, to move it forward; to protect the vulnerable, to evolve and change, to adjust to the changing world around them. Those happy with the status quo don’t believe things need to change. They think things are fine; they’re comfortable, they’re happy, they don’t see a problem.
Change is terrifying. But often people don’t recognize that they fear change, they don’t understand it, can’t admit it. They’re scared of what change might look like in their daily lives. Why should they change something that works for them? Change messes up the status quo.
Change only happens when the status quo is challenged by what are often considered radical ideas. Radical ideas often terrify people – until they slowly become normal and acceptable; until they become the new status quo. But, there’s a lot that can happen between those two extremes, between radical and status quo.
We’re all scared. Worried about the the life, and the planet, we’re leaving those who will come after us. Scared of what will, or could, happen to society if certain events unfold as predicted. Concerned about losing family and friends. Apprehensive about our own futures, our own livelihoods. Some of us are afraid of a future with out change too.
Asking for change, voicing those radical ideas, is often viewed as hostility, as being overly aggressive, as unrealistic. Change creates conflict, and conflict is always uncomfortable. Conflict resolution requires compromise. Compromise means reaching an agreement both sides can live with. Yet, often, those who feel uncomfortable with the changes suggested aren’t willing to find a more comfortable solution.
Maybe that’s why the voices of change often sound unreasonable to those who are happy with the way things are. How does that expression go, “If you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you’ll end up in the stars”. Sometimes asking for the moon is praying for stars. Sometimes you have to ask for the moon to make people see past the clouds in the sky and to land in the stars.
Shoot for the moon. Land in the stars. Easier said than done. Especially when your feet feel heavy, stuck, earthbound. I’m thankful for all those who are able to shoot for moon when all I’m able to do is look heavenward and notice the unusually azure sky above me.