The sky came calling late the other night, and I accepted the chance to have an old farmhouse front-porch visit.
It was a long while since we’d had such a grand summer visit. There had been pauses and looks into the darkness to gaze at the moon for a while or to see whether I could catch sight of a meteorite slashing through this old planet’s outer atmosphere.
I’d looked at the stars but for some reason this summer hadn’t taken the real time to count them.
My eyes had gotten a decent eyeful of the sky earlier that night, a couple of hours before it came calling. The Milky Way lit the darkness above, with other stars twinkling their siren sensuality to beckon me to gaze upon them and spend the night with them lighting my primal self.
The waning crescent moon that night reflected only enough of the sun’s distant light to make me aware it was there – though I paused long enough to smile at my mind’s picture of my love sitting in its curve and teasing me with her swinging leg.
There were things to do inside the house. And, though it was August and the air and calendar still said it was summer’s dog days, the day’s toils reminded me how autumn had crept upon my personal being; I was worn out and opted for a rest in a favorite recliner.
But then a far-away rumble caught my attention.
And then, another.
Though facing into the house, I sensed lights flashing behind me, the lightning-bug clouds flickering above. I turned to look up to see how the clouds had come between me and the life far beyond our planet.
Rumbles, and then more defined roars of thunder kettle-drumming nearer as the clouds thickened.
In the rumbling the sky was asking me to stay outside and visit for a while. It promised to tell me its stories if I heeded its request.
I obliged, closing the farmhouse’s door and taking a seat on a Leopold bench parked under a west-side eave.
The misguided relaxation I thought I’d have in the recliner quickly started on that hard bench, the tales the sky told in flashes of lightning that brightened the clouds’ many shades – it rotating electrically charged jolts of daylight with the night’s deep darkness.
My best moments of relaxation have happened during such visits with the sky, I remembered. How could I have forgotten and allowed so many chances for visits to escape?
The clouds and the show within eventually stretched fully over our small farm’s soil, us becoming more comfortable and hospitable as the moments passed.
I’m not certain what in the atmosphere finally made it happen, but the time finally arrived when the sky started to cry – in happiness about our visit, I think.
The tears came slowly, at first, small spatters landing on the August land’s summer-toughened soil. The tears eventually grew and my old friend above let out a full-on deluge of tearful happiness.
The soil seemed to be in special need of accepting that night’s crying sky. I listened and watched as the teardrops massaged into the soil, easing its burdens.
It worked for the soil, so I stepped from beneath the eave and turned my face to the sky to give my full self over to those tears. They seeped into my spirit; they seeped into my soul, cleaning any darkness from the depths of my being.
And then, the crying stopped.
The sky paused in the chatter of its lightning and thunder and tears, the clouds moving along their way for other visits while the old, familiar Milky Way and stars reappeared.
It’s sometimes difficult to remember that, as time passes so quickly, we don’t get enough chances to have good visits with the sky during a lifetime. I certainly had been guilty of that very misdemeanor. Thankfully, though, the sky asked me for that night’s visit, and I’m happy I obliged.
The visit was long, and without either speaking a word exchanged stories through most of that night.
The time came when we had to bid goodnight to each other. But as we did, the sky made me promise that our visits would be more frequent.
It was a simple request; it was a noble request.
I pledged that I would, and I fully intend to keep that promise.
— Scott Schultz