Nine Days Before Christmas. Late morning was 27-degrees, overcast in gray with streaks of dull chalky white. There was a steady small breeze.
The sky corresponded to my Spirit. I meant to walk briskly in one direction for twenty minutes and then to turn and retrace my steps. I did not care how uncomfortable I might be.
I parked Red Car on a street at the edge of a fashionable neighborhood. I walked by bungalows and houses in Colonial style decorated for Christmas. Decorations and lights did not brighten my state of mind. Just before noon, five minutes before my time to return, I passed a large church with a tall steeple. I turned away down a side street.
The cold air filled with organ and chimes playing “O Christmas Tree.” Then “O, Come, All Ye Faithful,”. Good noon tidings I thought. Then “Silent Night.”
The music did not cheer me, but I thought, yes, there is evidence of joy if I could want to reach for it.
“I Remember Sky.” It’s a song by Stephen Sondheim.
It is a song appropriate for my remembrance of a sky in wintertime.
Today is the winter solstice, a time to mark a change in the year.
At a coffee shop, not at all long ago, I looked through the window and beheld a winter sky, a sky not ever seen in the eastern part of the country, and not always in Colorado. When that sky occurs, there is no trace of cloud, only a clear, deep luminous blue, a blue that holds blue in itself.
In 1993, in a school in Denver, where each class began with prayer, I saw such a sky and took my senior English class outdoors for prayer. “Behold such a winter sky,” I said. The students stood respectfully and looked, though I had no idea what they were thinking. I, though, was deeply moved that humans could witness such a beautiful sight.
“A prayer of awareness,” the campus insisted assured me.