Blue and White

Blue and white, the skies and clouds put on a remarkable display.

I looked up when I opened the gate yesterday and saw this brilliant display of blue and white in the sky. The sun lit up the clouds and painted the sky a cobalt blue. Every day is a good day, Yunmen Wenyan said over a thousand years ago. Some days, it’s hard to believe that. Really? “Every day is a good day but today,” is what you want to say. But when the sun, clouds, and sky put on a display like this, it’s easy to believe.

Exploding sunlit clouds over the Skagit Valley.

On the drive over to Anacortes, the views didn’t stop. A cloud exploded over the Skagit Valley, between the foothills of the Cascades. Can a sky be more blue? Can clouds be more beautiful?

Blue and white - Exploding sunlit clouds over the Skagit Valley.
Blue and white. Exploding sunlit clouds over the Skagit Valley.

If one were to make a reference book of the colors blue and white, a cobalt blue sky and sunlit clouds like this is something one would certainly include. “This, everybody, is blue,” you’d say, pointing to the clouds. And where the sun lit up the clouds the most, you’d shout, “This is white, everybody!”

On days like this, the sky seems infinite. But it’s not. A short distance above, the atmosphere stops. And the blue turns inky black. The warmth of a spring day turns cold, the likes of which we can’t experience on earth. The side of your body facing the sun burns to a crisp. And the side facing away instantly freezes and shatters.

A five mile walk takes very little time. A five mile drive goes by quickly. But just five miles above us, we can’t breathe. Many go ten miles or more just to work. But ten miles above, nothing lives. The infinite cobalt blue skies we see on a sunny day are but paper thin. Life on earth is extremely fragile. So if we want our children, grand children, great grand children to enjoy these blue and white skies, we can’t take this fragile earth for granted.