skytime

I have always loved the sky.

In any place—desert sky, ocean sky, forest sky,
flatland big sky, high elevation mountain sky.
At any hour—morning sky, blindingly bright midday sky,
twilight sky, midnight sky.
In any state—stormy sky, clear sky, melancholy sky,
heavy dense grey sky, endlessly crisp azure sky.
With any accompaniment—uninhabited sky, crowded sky with clouds or creatures.

The ocean is revered, in part, for its vastness—how it can reframe one’s perspective on our frail, ephemeral human existence. Sky functions the same way for me—and it is even more omnipresent than ocean. When I am caught up in my sorrows, sky reminds me that all is temporary. When I am reveling in my joys, sky reminds me that all is temporary. I am grateful for these constant reminders.

Recently I was on tour with Blue Spirit Wheel; we traveled 8900 miles in six weeks. I spent as much time in the van, if not more, than I spent sleeping. Before the tour, I had grand plans—listed, natch—of all I’d accomplish in all that time: multiple books, multiple blog posts, plenty of postcards.

Riiiiiight. I read a few books. I dabbled in writing drafts. I did write a couple dozen postcards. But reading and writing for long periods in a moving vehicle proved too headache-inducing. So I failed at my list.

But that failure was a magnificent, unforeseen win. Why? Because I looked at the sky so much. (I have mentioned before how much I love sunsets. But for me, sunsets are a subset of sky.)

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

Desert sky, ocean sky, forest sky, flatland big sky, high elevation mountain sky.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

Morning sky, blindingly bright midday sky, twilight sky, midnight sky.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

Stormy sky, clear sky, melancholy sky, heavy dense grey sky, endlessly crisp azure sky.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

Uninhabited sky, crowded sky with clouds or creatures.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

For a few days at a horse sanctuary in Utah, I witnessed a hundred or so cliff swallows nesting. I could have been forcing productivity towards my list—reading or writing or emailing or researching or editing or drafting. Instead, I savored the birdsong and the sunlight filtering through the edges of the wings.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

These pelicans flew above a friend and me as we walked along the beach in San Diego.
Her comment: “This doesn’t suck.”
SK © 2013

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

The windows created some unexpected views.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

Sometimes I didn’t even have to look up.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

sky reflected onto a fingerprint-covered iPad screen SK © 2013

sky reflected onto a fingerprint-covered iPad screen
SK © 2013

This much this sky-gazing was ample time to think, or so I expected. But I witnessed a new way that yoga has changed my mind—often I didn’t think beyond witnessing my surroundings. I thought about clouds. About birds. About unfathomably enormous space.

SK © 2013

SK © 2013

But when I did think, I was grateful for abundance, wandering,  community, constant inspiration. I considered the pettiness of my disagreements with people, the blocks that prevent people from connecting more fully. We are all truly under the same sky, and there’s no need for all the divisiveness we have created. I thought that I should skygaze more often, that we all should.

That as usual, Calvin, succinctly and powerfully, reminds us of that important lesson. (Star-filled sky is one of my favorites, though these days, unfortunately, I rarely encounter it. I don’t have a camera that captures quality nighttime sky images, so I have few from the trip.)

the last night of the tour SK © 2013

the last night of the tour
SK © 2013

SK © 2013

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About stephanie francesca

Stephanie Francesca lives a life of eclectic and ecstatic passion. In no particular order, she is a writer, yogini, musician, teacher, nomad, lover, thinker, reader, dancer. She strives to balance effort with surrender, precision with laughter. Live life, love live, live love.
This entry was posted in community, environment, gratitude, identity, music, nature, travel, yoga. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to skytime

  1. Pingback: “The soul in paraphrase” | southern with a small s

  2. Pingback: why wander | southern with a small s

  3. Winston Kohler says:

    Thank you for this inspiring entry!

  4. Francine says:

    Stephanie, I also have indulged in beholding skyscapes, as I call them. As a kid in a small town in NY I was transfixxed by the night sky, resplendent with stars. I can no longer see these skies from my big city residence, but whenever I get to less populated areas, one of my most sought-after indulgences is to view the night sky. Skyscapes are ripe fields for meditation and reflection, as you so elequently articulate.
    My Mom and I used to love to gaze at the ocean when I was a kid. It was our first choice, but as you say, the sky is much more accessible to those of us who don’t live on the coast. I have come to appreciate skyscapes for their ubiquity, wonder, stillness, animation, inspiration, etc.
    Thank you for reminding me of how wondrous it is to observe the sky. It can become a sacred ritual, if we choose to bring our full attention to it.

  5. Sues says:

    Love. Love. Love.
    Love the sky. Love community & connections.
    Love you!

  6. Francine says:

    Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention: your skyscape photos are visually arresting! I assume they were taken with your i phone? Thank you for them!

  7. Pingback: Sky Speaks « A Shade Of Pen

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