We're driving down I-80 en route to Mahoney State Park in Nebraska. My brother is piloting the white SUV, while my twenty-something niece and nephew -both raised in Colorado - and I take in the bold geometry and subtle blond beauty of the vast Nebraska headlands. Ash, maple and sumac accent the exhausted fields on this late October day. Waves of telephone lines, silos and picturebook farms sweep by us. And although I spent my childhood in this same terrain, nothing about this scene and the happiness it evokes seems familiar. Yet, there is no mistaking the stone-white expanse above us. How I remember and carry with me those incomparable skies...
From Willa Cather:
"The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was still, — and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world ... Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!"