The Heavens

Today, Lee and I went to Athens to help Erin move to a new apartment. We drove round trip in one day, about 8-9 hours total.
The sky was so wonderful. Not because it was sunny and blue all day, but because of how varied and changing it was.
In the beginning, the upper sky was a brilliant blue with wisps of cirrus clouds, fading to a very light, nearly white blue in the lower portion of the sky. I thought there was a lot of whitish-gray smoke on the horizon and was preparing to call work on my cell phone to report a wildfire (wildfires were common last year), when I realized they were just very low, fast moving clouds. They looked strange, hovering so low, because it wasn’t foggy.
Soon, the low clouds dissapated. When we got closer to Athens, the sky grew steely gray and rain began to fall. This part of the trip wasn’t so pretty. We arrived, thankfully the rain stopped, and we moved, ate, moved some more, then began to retrace our route home.
The afternoon had grown sunny again, and this time, the sky was electric blue with huge puffy white clouds. The tops were so fluffy, I could imagine what it would feel like to jump into them. I know I’d just fall through, but it sure looked like you’d just bounce and land softly in a warm cushion of white.
About an hour into the return trip, we saw a rainbow. It stretched about a third of the way up, then faded into the blue sky. It was beautiful. It always looked so close, like we were just about to drive under it, then around the corner it was still there, just off in the distance, almost within reach.
A few moments later, another small piece of rainbow arched into the sky. It didn’t touch earth, just hung suspended between two towering clouds.
The trip was punctuated with periods of brief rain, then periods of sun. Another hour, and we saw a third rainbow. Then a fourth. By that time, I caught myself constantly looking at the skies, in my rear-view mirror, side-view mirrors, looking for another brush of color. The rainbows seemed to be everywhere.
As the sun began to set, we saw no more rainbows. But the light show wasn’t over. Behind us, the sun burned a hot orange spot into a cloud, and splashes of orange and pink were reflected on other massive clouds around us.
One day, when I have children, I wouldn’t be tototally against having a TV and VCR in the car to keep them entertained on long trips. But if mother nature provides another show like the one I witnessed today, the TV gets turned off. They may whine, but they’ll get over it. Some things in life are just too good to miss.