I grew up in eastern Nebraska, but was born out west in Washington. Each summer, my parents always made a point to travel back to Washington to visit our extended relatives, which meant long drives during summer break.

We still make the journey out. Though life has made it difficult to go every year, my parents make the trip at least once, driving from eastern Nebraska through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, finally arriving in eastern Washington.

Growing up, I remember my parents pointing out the landscape in each state we drove through as I sat in the back. We’d discuss the shades of green in the trees, the layers of color found in exposed mountains, markings from natural disasters, and the sky. Always the sky.

It wasn’t until Daniel and I took the drive this last summer that I was also enamoured with the mystery found in the sky.

When driving through western Nebraska, the sky feels large with endless possibilities in all directions. Once the mountains overwhelm the landscape, that same sky feels immeasurably smaller and difficult to grasp.

I was recently reading the book of Psalms one morning and thought about darkness and light and how this plays out in nature. I thought of the sky.

Even in the midst of deep sorrow, there are moments of tremendous hope that creep through to expose beauty. And soon, that sliver of hope completely overwhelms what once was.

“Dawn”
And soon, the sun creeps the sky,
Ridding the darkness that once overwhelmed,
I find myself gazing at the beauty,
The colors I couldn’t imagine still appear,
And the horizon is won once more, with the hope of a new day.