There are places in the world where it’s impossible to ignore the sky.
Here I am, in one of those places. As you know from several previous posts, this is where I recharge. It’s where I sleep late, exercise as much, and in as many forms as I want, cook whatever makes me and my people happy, and relax into a state of complete calm.
This visit is no different from the many others that have preceded it. As is typical, we arrived here after a high-energy, intense (and I’m glad to report, successful) burst of work and productivity. The boy had been on a series of adventures across the Northeast for a couple of weeks and we were all thrilled to be reunited for a 10-day vacation in the heaven of the Hudson Valley.
Which brings us to the sky.
There are hills here. Hills, and meadows, and cornfields, and close-up contact with flora of every color. Above all of it is a sky that is layered with texture. On the brightest, sunniest day, the sky can show you fourteen shades of blue. If it’s really hot, the sky can be white. When a storm comes in (and lucky, lucky, you if you’re outdoors to watch it approach), you can be astonished by the variations of gray that roll above you. At the end of the day, the sunset reflects off of everything below and everything above. Sunset literally vibrates here–in tones of pink, purple, orange, and a red that takes your breath away. Stay out later, and you’ll see the purest indigo lit up by stars and moon only the way a country night can shine.
We’ve had all of those skies in the past week. How about this, on my favorite walk, bracketed by a postcard scene so perfect you’d think it was staged?
Or how about this, taken during the preparations for our barbecue party, when the rain and hail came down so hard that we could literally pour a glass of ice water by holding up a cup?
But the best of all was display on the evening of July 4. We drove out to Poughkipsee to watch a fireworks show over the Hudson River. We arrived as the sun was sinking below the hills and the clouds were massing over the water. This was what we saw as we walked onto the bridge:
We found seats in front of the railing to wait for dark, when the light show would begin. Above us, this was happening:
The view up the river was a scene out of one of the greatest romantic stories about the Hudson:
And then the lightning started and the rains came, and the bridge had to be evacuated to protect all of us from harm. We didn’t rush to leave, and we weren’t particularly disappointed.
Really. What kind of competition could a barge-load of gunpowder and chemicals pose to this?
We drove home watching lightning bounce among the clouds. It was the best 4th of July show ever.