It happens all the time. It happens every so often. I go outside or, while driving, turn a corner, and I meet the sky. On a spring day in storm season, that meeting can be so wildly diverse from hour to hour that encountering the sky here is very much like encountering Lake Superior up north: one moment it’s dark blue, then it’s black, then it’s pink, then it’s gray-purple, then it’s wild and woolly, then it’s calm as a a lamb (if lambs are, indeed, as calm as we say they are).
Today for instance: coming home from taking the recyclables in and buying bananas at Checkers (because Tuesday and Thursday are 19 cent banana days), I encountered these purple-blue-gray mammatus clouds moseying east. The sky to the west was turning that shock of blue that comes in between fierce storms.
Later, driving home from the Basehor Public Library, where I gave a talk on how poetry can help us see the world in new ways, I mounted the crest of a highway to see a dramatic unfolding in blue and gold, which made all the green below saturate itself with double-color.
Coming to where Hwy. 24/40 meets Lawrence, I shot this pink sky out the side window (without looking and while keeping one hand firmly on the wheel). It’s blurry because of the speed, but to me that makes it look even more like what it truly was: a watercolor of spring at its peak.
Summers can be hell here with weeks on end with highs of 100 most days. Winters can be punishing. The politics, particularly on the state level, can be overwhelmingly despair-inducing. But we have these skies marching through our days and nights, making me again and again fall in love with being a Kansan.