I am a city girl. I love this place. It is my hometown. I celebrate the diversity, the cracked concrete, the beautiful bustle. I thrive in the chaos. I breathe the conversations. I savor the culture.
This is my world.
But every now and then, I get worried. I feel a punch of panic. A stab of sadness. In these odd moments, I fear that by being here, I am missing out. I am losing part of who I could be. Who I should be.
On Sunday night, Husband and I drove out of the city to attend a wonderful charity event for Green Chimneys, an organization that is very important to me. I will tell you all about this event and this organization, so stay tuned. But today's post is about our drive. Actually, today's post is about the sky.
"I'm always amazed at how dark it is out here," Husband said as we approached our destination.
"I know," I said, fixated on the blackness. The smattering of stars.
And something alarming occurred to me.
I do not remember the last time I saw the sky.
My days are good days. Hurried days. I go from Here to There. From Home to Away. On rabid repeat. I swim in conversation. I wander through words. I snuggle and struggle. I twirl babies. I skip on sidewalks. I check my phone. I check my email. I kiss my Husband. I kiss the cosmos. I see plenty of people and glimmers of self.
But I don't see the sky. The sky.
And I'm not sure why. Is it because I'm not looking? Because my gaze is fixed on ground which shifts and sustains? Because my eyes are trained on the exquisite clutter of home and head and heart? Because my focus is singular and secular?
Or is it because in this place, this wonderful and worrisome haven, the skies are in disguise? Camouflaged by clouds of smog and self-interest? By the ruthless rise of modernity, by tall buildings, by the blinding glare of excess and artificial light?
Is it me or is it this place?
It doesn't matter really. What matters is that in living this life in this place I am missing something as simple and stunning as the sky. What matters is that I have two tiny girls, two shining stars, in a sky of becoming. What matters is that I owe it to them to expose them to the endless expanse, the unmarred powder blue, the place of true color.
I love this place. It is my place. It is my world. But what kind of world is a world without a sky?
How often do you see or study the sky? If you live in an urban environment, do you worry about the ill effects of being distant from nature? Do you think this sky separation syndrome is not necessarily a symptom of city living, but perhaps part and parcel of modern existence? Are we too entrenched in the stuff of everyday, too busy looking down and around to take the time to cast our glance upward?