Friday, March 23, 2007

"Carolina Blue"

I'd heard the phrase many times before moving here to Charlotte. I'd heard it many times in relation to the University of North Carolina team colors. What I hadn't heard or seen or imagined until we moved here was that "Carolina Blue" refers to the color of the sky on a sunny Carolina day.

There's nothing like it. Walking on our quiet street with the children and the dog, trees budding with spring blooms, and the sky above, dazzling in its depth of color. I usually say trite things like, "I'd love to have a turtleneck in that color." The color of the sky over our heads is impossible to capture in a bottle of manmade dyes. It's indescribable. It's Carolina blue.

As the morning passes and the sun approaches its zenith in the sky, the blue intensifies. As the afternoon shadows lengthen, the shade of blue lightens, and the sky somehow seems broader and more beautiful still. Every day as I watch the progress of the sun, the clouds, and the change in colors, I wonder how it is possible for such grandeur to be reproduced on a daily basis. Wondrous. Majestic. Mind-boggling. Blue sky.

But it's the sunset in the western Charlotte sky that melts me. Every time I see it, I am amazed by its glory. Streaks of clouds chase the sun onto its mount of transfiguration, as it transforms itself from high, sizzling yellow to low, rich orange. The afterburn of airplanes form a dozen arrows pointing the way to evening. I follow them with my eyes and with my heart.

Tonight on my way home from dropping my daughter off at a friend's house, I nearly crashed the car twice so mesmerized was I by the sky-wide portrait to my left. I looked around at other drivers and saw absolutely no one look over at the sunset. How do they not see it? Is it possible to take the sunset for granted? May it never be!

It's dark now. The moon is smiling its quarter-smile down on us. I'm going to sign off now, go outside, and stand on our freshly mowed lawn (yeah, Steve!) and smile back. If the moon is visible where you are, why don't you join me outside? We can wave up at the Woman in the Moon and wish each other pleasant dreams.

Buona notte.
Buenas noches.
Good night, moon.

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