Saturday morning I got up early to take my friend Seth to the airport. I don’t have the world’s best track record with Seth and the airport and so, for the sake of our friendship, it was doubly important that I get to him on time. Thankfully, I woke up to my alarm and was even a couple minutes early pulling up in front of his apartment. As I sat in my car, parked in the median lane of South Broad Street, I had a moment to sit and appreciate the peace of early morning.
After I dropped him off, driving back into Philly over the 95 bridge, I was entranced by the sky. Had I been talking, I would have been rendered speechless. In that moment, I wished for another person to be in the passenger seat, so I could have shared the view with another. Center City was small in the left-hand corner of my windshield, and the sky was blue with waving ripples of white. It was vast and expansive and made me wish that my car had wings, so that we could have flown off the beaten path and into another world.
All my life, my father has been one to notice what the sky is doing that day. As a young teenager, I would be in the car with him, when he would say in a voice tinged with awe and honor, “Will you look at that sky!” I would reply in bored tones, “It’s just a sky, dad. It does that everyday.” He was never phased by my attempts to toss cold water on his enthusiasm and continued to point out the moments when nature was particularly spectacular.
His love of clouds, sunset and sky has seeped into my consciousness, and now I find myself noticing what is happening above me all the time. Living on the 20th floor, my windows are closer to the clouds than those in the houses I grew up, and I find that I can lose hours watching the sky tapestry change and shift. I’m grateful that my dad was never put out by my uninterested replies, and kept reminding me to look up, because it adds beauty to my experience of the world, everyday.
I love the sky. I love clouds and the sun and the delightful blue they play in. Marisa’s grandmother Bunny, my mom, did for me what I did for Marisa in sharing the appreciation of the show above our heads.
One of my favorite memories of the morning sky and Philadelphia is driving home after staying out all night in New York City. I had dozed off in the passenger seat, and awoke just as we were coming over the Ben Franklin Bridge. The sun was rising, and everything was so beautiful, so peaceful, almost surreal. I remember smiling and thinking, “I’m home.”
My son has taken to reiterating what I like to say, “What a beautiful sky…” and he’ll make sure to stop us while walking, to point out a sunset or pretty clouds.