If we drop our eyes from the horizon we see all the high-points of the lands laid out before us. Lots of different layers; trees, houses, hills, mountains even, all the things that stand above everything else between you and them. As we drop our eyes the number of layers that we see reduces until all we see is the layer we are standing on.
If we lift our eyes from the horizon we get a completely different experience. At any point as we lift our eyes we see another new set of layers and strata. It doesn’t matter how high we lift our eyes we still see a full set of strata. Sometimes the strata that we can see are a long, long, long way away. Sometimes the strata are very close indeed. The strata that we see are never the same there is always something new going on up there, especially in the UK where the weather changes by the minute, not by the season.
Just before we went on our skiing holiday it was so mild that Sue and I sat out in the garden and had lunch, a very surreal experience for February in Lancashire. We were already looking forward to our holiday and we sat there and watched the sky being criss-crossed by plane after plane. Some were obviously huge jumbos, others smaller. Each one housing people on a journey, each journey a story. We sat and imagined what those stories might be and looked forward to the story that our own planned flight would soon be creating. Every now and then a micro-light would fly over making us realise how high up those planes were and how far we could see.
Lyndon Johnson said “A clear stream, a long horizon, a forest wilderness and open sky—these are man’s most ancient possessions. In a modern society, they are his most priceless.”
While we were on holiday we experienced the sky in many different ways. On the first couple of days it was blue and there was no wind. Para-gliders took people on trips around the mountain and again I imagined what it would be like to float up there with them. On the third day the sky changed, in the morning we again had glorious sunshine, by the evening though the sky had come down to meet us bringing snow. The two pictures are taken from the hotel in the morning as we left to ski and in the evening on our return. Our close encounter with the sky continued for another day, but was followed by another different sky with fluffy clouds but not above us, below us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes”.
The sky is something we live under every day, we can ignore it if we choose, we can even choose to hide away from it in our houses, but for me the sky keeps calling. But what is is calling?
King David wrote these words in Psalm 19:
The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world.