Big Sky

October 24, 2022

Why do western skies appear so vast?

We were moving west, leaving behind the numbing vistas of Oklahoma and Texas. Vivid greens, yellows, browns, reds, rust blue yellow. . . I am not an artist…words fail…it was as if the pigments themselves were dissipating the morning mist.

The vast panorama and rolling hills of New Mexico welcomed us. The road, daunted by the gradients of the hills, cut cleanly through the land’s intestines. In reply, as if angry, the umber cliffs projected rough surfaces, threatening in their harshness.

But the sky, the sky is what welcomed me and reminded me of why I fell in love with the southwest. “Big sky” pops into my mind. How else to describe it? Wasn’t that a TV show at one time? Yes, it was set in Montana, another big sky state.

Of course the sky is the same size whether in New Mexico or Illinois. Perhaps because it is unobstructed by trees and low, gray clouds that it appears so large. In the American west, massive billowing clouds and streaks of vapor wisp cannot fill the blue. The distance to the remote mountain peaks accentuates the sky’s vastness, inviting us to keep going, to search beyond the mountains which appear miniscule. There is a sense of the divine, that we are one with the universe.

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.