This morning, before the acidity of java burned through my brain-fog, I wondered what in the world to write about. It turns out that I'm scribbling about something not of this world, at least to a degree. Ever hear of a sun dog? It's a solar phenomenon caused by sunlight refracting through ice crystals in cirrus clouds, creating a second sun, halo, or patch of rainbow-colored light. Sound boring, like something out of your high-school science book? Believe me, it's not boring at all. Imagine looking into the sky and finding a swatch of rainbow suspended there. Better yet, a complete circle of light, colors prismed around it, a friend to share it with, witness that your neurons didn't hiccup your wild days of experimenting with mind-altering wantoness.
Since the first time I saw a sun dog, I've always kept watch for more. It's a reminder to me that the world is a place full of interesting things, that earth is only the beginning in finding them, and that when we do, they can change us in unexpected ways.
One afternoon, sitting in traffic and impatient to get home, I remembered about sun dogs, looked up and sure enough found one, a beautifuly bright one. I looked around to see if anyone else saw it. No, not one person had their neck crooked up, no smile spread on their face. What a shame. This was too good not to share. I looked to my left, to the car beside me- a middle aged guy, starched shirt, pensive expression. I thought, no, this guy wouldn't give a rats' pitootee about a splotch of light in the sky. Likely, he would ingore me at best, give me a dirty look at worst.
But then, I took a chance. I just had to share this with someone, open the door for anyone to see beauty in the natural world. We do spend too much time with our gadgets, hurrying into cubicles of work and home and solitude.
I rolled down my window, lightly tapped my horn. I got his attention, smiled and pointed to the sky. To my suprise, he did look. And then he smiled. He no longer was the middle-aged guy balding in his stiff shirt, mouth down-turned to the world. He became more of himself. At least that's what I like to think. He rolled down his window, asked me what in the world that thing was. When I told him, I had the feeling he was going to go home and look it up, that he may start to watch the sky as well. I also had the feeling that he didn't see me as only someone in painter's whites, driving a beat up truck that had long lost its shine.
The light changed. Time to move on.
It's a wonderful thing to have one's faith in nature to change us proved in unexpected ways.