the distance of grey

It’s been a terrible winter. In fact, the only winter days we’ve had were before 21 December (that’s the first day of winter for those who don’t know). Yesterday was as unremarkable as any other day of late. High 40’s, low 50’s with a non descript grey sheet stretching from horizon to horizon. But something odd happened. I saw it for the first time in weeks; perhaps months.

I work in a building that has plenty of windows. I dart between buildings several times a day. I always appreciate the air and if i’m lucky, there’s some sunlight too. But yesterday i’m driving around. I get out of my car and i stare at the horizon. Yes, it’s a typical winter day here. It’s impossible to tell where the sun is, it’s impossible to tell what time of day it is. The air is chilly but not cold, the ground is still saturated from all the rain we’ve had in the last couple of months. Grasses lie fallow and rotting and crows are constantly calling from naked branches. But there’s the horizon and there’s a sense of distance i haven’t felt in a long time.

And this life i have. I work but seldom get to be outside for anything other than traveling from one problem to the next. I drive from one point to the next, always to take care of business of one sort or the other. When i drive to Olympia to see Adelle, i’m always focused on the road or it’s too dark/rainy to enjoy the scenery. But the strangest irony is that when i come home from work, i stare at this field of hundreds of thousands of microscopic lights and i play games that simulate these vast distances on a flat surface. Dozens of frames per second, objects zooming, disappearing and perfect skies rendered by pixels. Distance becomes an illusion.

But yesterday, it just felt good to stand there for a bit- to take in the sheltering sky and to listen to the crows.