Today I am grateful for spectacular skies. I never used to notice the sky unless a storm was rolling in or the sunrise or sunset was particularly brilliant. I pretty much took a beautiful sky for granted.
Then we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for three years. The smog spread in a thick swath over the place, like liquid peanut butter. Cars used leaded gasoline and buses and trucks used diesel, puking pollution over an otherwise beautiful place. Street vendors burned bamboo or charcoal to grill chicken sate. On every street corner. The smell in traffic downtown was disgusting but in the neighborhoods, it smelled like County Fair for 365 days a year. Add to this the proverbial yearly forest fires from Sumatra and a clear sky was more elusive than Elvis Presley working at that gas station down south. From our upstairs porch, on a clear day you could see the mountains of Puncak. We saw them four times. Maybe five. In three years.
When I look up now and see a spectacular sky, like the ones we have had lately, as summer morphs into autumn, I’m blown away by the vast beauty. . .and I am grateful.