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Land resting,
winter’s dormancy
full-blown,
this week
gray winter fog and clouds
have lifted—
and both sun and moon
glow strong
in the morning sky.
A muted landscape
was set against changing colors
as Earth rolled east
and passed sun.

Before sun appeared,
the western sky was layered
pink and blue
and moon, in its fullness,
hung high.
As the mammoth burning orb
was about to appear,
its light struck gold
the face of the white one.

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Ascending from the land,
clouds in the east
turned pink and blue too.
The sun almost visible,
the curve of the prairie
grew dark
against the copper glow.
Thin lines of clouds
moved in to the golden light.

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I am reminded of an Ann Zimmerman song,
“The Early Morning,”
from her album “Blue Wild Indigo.

The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other.
The moon is my sister. The dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning. My sister, good night.

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Evening Sky

I’ve noticed
that the colorfulness
of the western sky
in the evening,
as Earth is turning up
and the sun disappears,
is sometimes
the same intensity
and hue
next morning
as Earth rolls over
just before sun appears
in the east.
Something
to look forward to…

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Waning Moon and Venus

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Waning Moon and Jupiter

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Waning Moon and Venus in First Light

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Venus, Waning Moon in Earthshine

Yes,
as I had expected,
the cold clear night
revealed jillions of stars.
As my eyes adjusted,
I could see more and more
and more.
They seemed to glow
brighter
than usual.
Having greeted
them,
acknowledged their bursting
beauty,
I went in for the night,
slept well.
And woke early:
the sky had more to offer;
there was something shining
through the bedroom window
in the darkness
before first light.
Even without my glasses
I could see the beauty.
It beckoned,
so I put on the glasses.
Then I knew I had to
put on warm clothes,
go out,
into the cold. (23 degrees
at 6 a.m.)
But there was no wind,
and besides,
what I saw warmed
every cell of my being:
the waning crescent
of liquid-white moon—
shining,
glowing—
and Earth’s shine
on the darkened part
of that familiar-and-always-wondrous
orb.
But that wasn’t all.
Shining brilliantly above,
Venus,
the “morning star.”
And, just below and to the left,
just a little fainter,
Jupiter—
all set gloriously in an inky sky.
My heart could barely hold
such extravagant beauty.
I texted my two moon friends.
Then called one.
She was in her kitchen
and threw on her coat,
phone still in hand.
When she saw what I could see,
she exclaimed,
laughed joyously
in my ear.
We shared the laughter—
nothing more could
or needed
to be said.
All the connections
of that wondrous moment—
celestial to Earth,
Earthlings to the heavens—
will hold us
as long as the stars
shine.

Women on the Prairie Retreat

Friday evening,
during the Women on the Prairie Retreat,
we hiked up Zig Zag Lane
to the hilltop
and watched Earth roll up
and sun disappear.
In the night,
guests were surprised
that they could see
layers upon layers
of stars in the black sky.
In early morning,
we went out to watch Earth
somersault over
and the sun reappear,
in the eastern sky.
Hues of gold, orange, pink
weren’t the only showings in the sky.
In the evening,
we watched two Night Hawks
climb  high,
dive bomb one another,
then rise in flight again,
and again.
In the morning, we watched
Turkey Vultures glide,
the Great Blue Heron’s elegant flight,
a lone Scissortailed Flycatcher
and an unusually silent Mockingbird.
The giant canopy of sky
enlarges life
here on the prairie.
And it has been especially engaging
this year.
In February Venus and Jupiter
formed a bright triangle
with the dainty crescent moon
in the western night sky.
At the beginning of May
the moon came its closest this year
and, being full,
looked breathtakingly big, and beautiful.
Sunday night,
just as the bright orange ball of fire
floated above the horizon,
moon floated across too
and we gasped at the beauty
of seeing sun and moon together
in a solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse from Turtle Rock Farm

And the year’s sky spectacles
are not finished.
June 5,
Venus will transit the sun.
This will not happen again
until 2117.
There’s information
about when you can see it in your area
and how to protect your eyes,
here.
Earth needs our attention—
and, it seems, knows how to get it!

Morning Sky this Gray Day

It’s another perfect day.
Not the sunny, cool, light breeze
kind of perfect day;
rather, the perfect gray day,
with sprinkles.
As Earth somersaulted over
this morning,
the sky glowed red,
then faded
as the sun was revealed,
briefly.
That was all we’ll see
of the sun today.
There is rain
to the south
and it may move up here
later.
But today is a perfect
non-rainy gray day:
perfect temperature,
the slightest breeze.
Without the bright and shadow
of a sunny day
it is easy to see the color
of everything.
Too, there is a specific energy,
or lack of it,
in a gray day.
The animals seem to know it;
they appear calmer.
Our bodies seem to know it;
they cry for rest.
And so we mostly sit down today
to enjoy the world
set on pause.

 

Sometimes there are things
more important
than sleep.
The last sliver of moon,
apricot,
above the horizon before
dawn
and straight-up overhead,
Venus,
so close,
glowing til morning
when the sky blazes red
then pink, orange and gold.

 

Morning Sky on the Prairie
3 Dec 2010

It dawns
this December morning
as well
that no matter the vagaries of the world,
there is always
natural beauty;
natural beauty that
beckons us
toward dawning awareness
of the beauty within
all.


Morning Sky 22 October 2010

A photograph never captures
the sky in the morning
as Earth rolls over
and reveals Sun.
For one thing,
I am rarely up watching
the process unfold,
at first light,
which arrives imperceptibly
even when I am sitting in the dark
watching.
On the most colorful mornings,
the light and color change
seemingly
in five second intervals.
The color grows strong
and then as we get close to seeing
the sun
it fades
in the brilliant
uncontrollable
expanse of golden light.
There is no way for me
to capture that in a photograph.
Only one second
is captured in the lens.
As beautiful as it may be,
there is nothing,
no image,
no word
that can express
the growing expanse of brilliance and beauty
that awakens
in the watcher.

Morning Sky 25 October 2010