You know how some of the smallest and most unexpected moments remain indelible in your memory? Ten years ago, I was at an environmental conference and someone read the excerpt below from a book by Rebecca Solnit called A Field Guid to Getting Lost. Read it slowly and take it in.
The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue edge of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.
The language was so beautiful and the thoughts so magical that I never forgot them. After returning home, I immediately bought the book.
This past weekend I learned that Krista Tippett’s latest interview on the On Being podcast was with Rebecca Solnit. I went out for a walk early Saturday morning, before the heat of the day was in full force, specifically to listen to the interview. Highly recommended.
During that walk, I took the photograph above. It wasn’t until I got home and was processing photos on my computer that I connected it to the “blue” piece. The unconscious works in mysterious ways.