I was driving home from the gym a couple days ago. The sky was a funny colour of grey and white and black. The clouds didn’t so much blend into one another as they sharply contrasted and layered upon one another.
It gave the impression of looking at an old Tom Thomson painting and it reminded me of a morning long ago when Pad and I were driving to a hockey practice as dawn broke.
Clouds hung over the far side of Lake Ontario and reached down to the horizon. Pad was in the back seat and said, “Hey dad. I’ve never noticed those mountains before.”
I looked again and he was right. The clouds looked every bit like a distant mountain range — dark and ominous and inviting all at the same time. I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that moment to inflict a geographic lesson on him — it was just too pure a moment of wonder. By the time we emerged from the rink the mountains were gone. But I never forgot the sky that day or my kid’s take on it. Patrick’s mountains return every now and then, usually in the morning. I always smile at the memory.
He got it right, even if there are no mountains outside Rochester or Syracuse or Utica. I’ll always know they’re there. My kid showed them to me and every now and then I’m lucky enough to see them again, if only for a few moments. Continue reading