in the clouds

They call it “City Above the Clouds” and I sometimes cringe at the blunt-obvious names. But here the cool air collects like thick damp wool and rolls gentle through the mountain-valleys. I watch wide puffs of clouds slide by like rivers and grasp with deep breaths against the near-tangible fog-that-is-not-fog. When my footsteps echo in the misty dark and clouds condense on my hair, I think this is what it means to have your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

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Have I always loved the space of the sky? I have always loved flying, I know. When I read Little House on the Prairie, my dad told me he could find me prairie grasses taller than my young head and I still remember the savory thought of wide horizons wrapped in waving grasses. I miss the Minnesotan afternoons, when I could close my eyes in the midst of that prairie I loved and send my soul up, up. I reached higher every time and never touched the high edge of the sky once. There was space enough for me.

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And here I am living lifted up on rocky steps into the very skies I’ve always felt I’ve known. I take selfies looking down at my feet but my landscapes always feature the wide blue open. Maybe this is the place I can unleash my dreams again. Maybe here I can touch the clouds in real time and drink the alpenglowing sunsets like sweet wine. Maybe all these magical starry reaches are mine.

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