Thursday, August 10, 2006

Things Too Beautiful

There are some things not meant to be seen by mortal eyes. They are far too beautiful for us to truly understand and appreciate. We can merely acknowledge the beauty but never quite comprehend what such beauty means.

I spent the day soaring above the clouds aboard a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker. The engines were loud, the ride a bit bumpy, but my mind easily brushed all that aside and ignored it, for there was something far more divine to observe.

Clouds. Miles upon miles of glorious, beautiful, inspiring clouds. Bluish-gray clouds that were iron-flat on top, puffy on the earth side, seeming to reach for the ground. Clouds painted on a universal canvas, employing a vast palette of whites, grays, silvers and blues. Some bubbled up in mounds of glistening, shaving cream-like puffs of condensation, rising miles high, reaching towards the black of space. Others hovered as steel gray ominous wisps that begged understanding, appreciation, and softened the edges of the earth.

White clouds gleaming so brightly as they reflect sunlight that pupils squeeze into pinpoints to close out the brilliance, diminish the glare enough to enjoy and appreciate, but not to destroy. Silver lined the white, shining against the palest puffs, surreal, haunting. Beautiful.

All of these, the wisps, the towering mounds, the puffs like hot, wet exhalations on a chill winter morning, frozen and thick, sat soft against a brilliant blue sky, suspended weightless yet heavy in the air. The sky composed of every shade of blue plucked from a bright yellow Crayola box: hard and strong, soft and light, with darks melting into lights blending with white and gray and the softest pink, lightest orange, brightest yellow.

Serenity of the most natural kind.

There are some things I don't think we were ever meant to see, but when we do, the beauty sits, imprinted, impossible to forget, on brains too primitive to fully appreciate.

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