On a Clear Day
After traveling, our Humboldt skies seem like clear windows to the heavens. When I was child, my mother drove my brother and me down to the city and picked up a girl who had never been out of the Bay Area. She fell asleep almost immediately. When she awoke, we were almost at the Humboldt border.
“The sky—it’s BLUE,” she breathed
My brother and I frog eyed each other (what a geek she is) and began snorting with suppressed laughter (gee, next she’ll be announcing that ice cream tastes good). My mother (bless her—always willing to judge people kindly) said, “Well, it is pretty today,” in a cautious way as if probing for solid footing.
“No, I mean, it’s really blue,” the girl turned serious and not dazed eyes onto us. “Where I come from it is a pale washed out whitish color. Always.”
We all looked out of the windows and gazed through her eyes. Overhead, the heaven stretched tightly like royal blue silk over the June hillsides. One white cloud accented the sky like a beauty mark–floating slowly, grandly. The hills like dragons with pointy tree scales lazed in long curves under the azure canopy and we could see the air- not swept clean but new clean like a just budded flower.
From that day on I became aware of the sky—of the many beautiful skies of Humboldt. Now 35 years later though, the skies of a Humboldt summer are less blue and from the mountain above my house I can see a haze over the towns of the southern part of the county.
But sometimes, after a rain, the sky is BLUE again.