I can't stop taking pictures of the sky.
For the past seven years I've been running, and it gets me outside in every season. When I get to South Mountain Reservation or Orange Reservoir (above), my two favorite places to run, I evaluate the clouds, their patterns and colors. I search out the sun. I stop for a moment to watch the movement, because the sky seems permanent, set, but it's constantly in motion.
There's something about its bigness and always-thereness. All you have to do, anywhere you are, is look up, and there it is, like the old friend who effortlessly catches you when you trip over yourself. Whether it's radiantly blue and clear or green and black with cloud, whether there are cotton balls or waves of white. Whether it's red or pink or purple or gray or blue or navy or black, there it is, and every single day it's brand new.
When I run, I lean slightly forward and gaze down. I try to remember to stay in the moment, stay in this step, not worry about what's behind or ahead. Like yoga, it's a way to move myself into the present. But I'm also in my head, in my thoughts and fears and worries, in love and in pain, alive and full, lonely and suffocated, all the things that make up a life. So to look up, to raise my eyes and tilt my head back, to let my heart move upward toward the vastness, it feels like a gorgeous respite every time.
So I take pictures. Not just on runs. Out in my front yard and through windows. From the train platform and the Target parking lot. In the city, where the sky is reflected in the glass of the buildings, and over the river where it hovers like a dream.
I stop during walks home at dusk, and I look up and try to make a frame of branches around the blue. I capture little skies that I can carry around with me, tiny reminders of the dazzle.