It’s Friday the 13th, and at least we didn’t awaken to yesterday’s snow on the ground. Just a few short days home from Hawaii, and I’m already feeling that it was a long long time ago. It rained a lot over there, but there is 76 degree rain under a beach umbrella, and then there is 34 degrees under a gray-laden snow-filled sky. With Billings snow storm last night, they have most likely gained the inch required to make it the snowiest winter ever recorded. This protracted winter is one for the record books and I’m making no apologies now for my complaining. Even Cliff Mass, the meteorologist professor in Seattle, who writes a blog about the northwest weather he loves, wrote that his son is threatening to move to southern California, and he may just join him. The long-range weather forecast predicts a cold and wet pattern until mid-May. The near future looks grim.
So, may as well try to focus on the little glimmers. There were stars in the sky in the middle of last night’s sleep, and I thought about the amazing experience I’d just had on the seven and a half hour red-eye flight from Hawaii to the mainland. I was next to the window, squished and squashed in the row of three seats, unable to sleep. The entire cabin was dark. One woman, a few rows up on the other side of the aisle, was reading a book by the light of her cell phone. The sleeping man on the aisle side of my row had the seat back screen in front of him turned on, which showed where our plane was in relationship to land, and the time to destination. I could see that we were now over the mainland, with such a long time to go. The shades were all pulled down, but I figured in the darkness, I could lift mine and peek out in search of city lights. I looked out into a sky filled with bright stars and the milky way was as vivid as I’ve ever seen. I covered my head with the blue airline blanket to block out any cabin lights, and it felt like I was seeing images from the International Space Station. And, then, there was a yellow glow off in the distance, shining up beneath clouds. It was remarkable in contrast to clusters of white city lights which appeared now and then, and I began to see that it was crescent-shaped. It was the waning crescent moon, rising up over the horizon line! Like the story of the monk, who rang the church bell to awaken his village when he saw the moon rise, I came out from under my blanket, and looked around to see if anyone else could see it, but all souls were fast asleep. For the remainder of the journey, I watched the moon get higher and higher, turn white, and, at last, saw the faint glow of dawn on the horizon as we landed just after 6 a.m. in Denver.
And, today, the forecast calls for sunshine here and there. It’s the only day without rain in the forecast for as far out as I can see. But, coming on Friday the 13th, expectations for the day are low, so I’ll just take whatever I can get here in April.