Yesterday evening I dropped the boys off at a Scout camp and, as I didn't have the youngest hobo with me, was able to meander back from the camp.
As I came over the brow of a small hill (believe you and me, my area only does small ones) the clouds appeared above the line of trees like snow topped mountains.
It completely took my breath away.
It's moments like this that help me recharge my batteries. That make me put the rest of the weeks' insanities into perspective.
Fluffy white clouds disguising themselves as grand and imposing mountain ranges, transporting me away from the Oxfordshire countryside on an Autumn Friday evening and into the depths of the Rockies or the Appalachian range. I can pretend, momentarily, that I'm driving close to Boulder or I'm on my way home to Connecticut to our little clapboard house in the woods.
But not once in a weekend, twice! Obviously someone felt that I had a lot of recharging to do this weekend!
Walking back from a meal at our local pub with LMB, the sky appears to have erupted this evening. There is a harsh chill to the air, not one to make your breath appear before you, but enough to make you realise that maybe you haven't quite put on enough layers for this October evening (and one to make you worry a little bit about those boys in that field on that camp!). There is also no moon.
There have been few times in my life where the skies have been clear enough to see the milky way. I remember clearly seeing it lying on a beach in South Africa back in 1990 as a teenager. A few years later, camping under the stars on the banks of the Dordogne river and then here, in this house. I have seen the milky way and this huge expanse of night sky here a few times, but nowhere else I have lived or travelled, have I seen it as clearly as these times.
I know it's been there for me to see but I just think that sometimes there are times when your eyes need to be opened wider to the beauty that surrounds you. Your eyes need to be hot wired to your heart and soul on these occasions. It may be there at other times but if your eyes aren't truly open, then you won't see. Tonight I needed to see so the banalities that came through a build up of tiredness and everyday pressures could then pale into insignificance.
Tonight I am just grateful for seeing.