A few years ago, we traveled from Cody, Wyoming, into Yellowstone National Park. The weather had been rainy, but as we progressed through the mountains we stopped in awe of the sky. Yes, still angry and dark but there, above the incredibly green grass and the rugged, rocky outcrop, was a rainbow. Grateful, today, for the clearing skies after an interminable period of rain, cloud cover, rain, more clouds, and rain. Autumn is such a beautiful time, especially with the sunshine making the most of the colors.
It was like a gathering of the Jets and the Sharks from West Side Story. The new arrivals landed on one side of the pond, while the others occupied the opposite. Then they slowly danced their way in a water ballet to the middle for a rumble. It all ended peacefully. Grateful to have such an oasis in the middle of town! I’m sure the geese are, too.
Consider the lowly drain pipe. It’s not very glamorous. In fact, it’s downright utilitarian, like shop lights in a garage. Function, not form. (You’re not interested in style, you’re interested in light. Or in this case, water. Or shedding it. But it serves a worthy purpose, this ferrying of water away from crucial things like houses and basements and risky foundations. It’s one of those taken-for-granted helpers.
So I’m thinking about that. What serves to wick away stuff for me? What serves as a conduit, ferrying something from me to another destination? And my eyes come to mind because they leak tears whenever there’s a surfeit of emotions — both good and bad. They lighten the emotional toll so I can more quickly regain my equilibrium. I’m grateful, then, for things like drainpipes, whatever form they may take!
Fireworks have a fascination for many of us — the eyes can’t help but follow the arc of the projectile as it rockets into the air and then gaze in appreciation as it explodes into colors and shapes that slowly fade as the embers drop toward earth. But when you capture one, over water, you notice other things. Like the path it clearly outlines. It hardly matters whether that path leads to you or to the explosion of awesomeness; there’s meaning in both directions. Either it’s pointing the way toward you (Baby, you’re a firework!) or it’s leading you toward it (Come and let your colors burst!). Grateful for the reminder that we all have the potential to, as Katy Perry sings, “make ‘em go, ‘oh, oh, oh!’ as you shoot across the sky-y-y!” Boom, baby.
What do you see? A “V,” a bold statement slapped across a blue canvas? Or the clasped hands of two companions striding confidently and securely across the the earth? I imagine a beautiful triad — two beings in relationship out of which a third entity emerges — the relationship itself. And I am grateful, then, that we humans are separate yet, with deliberate choice, can consciously create, honor and nurture relationship. And when we do, we surely stride like giants, hand in hand across the sky, heads tipping the clouds.