Atmosphere

Breathing the Sun

There is hardly a difference between Earth and sky.

Earth
… cut by water…

… is scarcely different from water cut by sky. Where the hillside is slowed by stones…

… and snow buckwheat…

Are these not clouds?

… so is the sky slowed by stones, only of water not of mineral.

Are these not pebbles in a stream?

Both effects only happen when Earth and sky join, either in the pressure formed by mountains and the wind that they, like pebbles in a stream, interrupt…

… or when falling water carries soil away from a hill, exposing pebbles there, and, finally, carried by the rain it now resembles, falls, stills, and becomes solid Earth.

Surely it is not so strange. The strange thing is to separate minerals from water. They are, after all, both made of molecules formed by heat and pressure, the same heat and pressure that made the Sun, that continues to drive the interchange. Is the image below not a moment of the energy of mountains flowing past, powered by the turning Earth, the Sun and the swirling North Pacific, all held aloft by high pressure air deep in the Okanagan Valley trench?

It’s not just a metaphor, then, to speak of clouds as mountains flowing past, even when they sure look like dreams.

The thing is, in a valley made by water melting from ice flowing off the mountains, pressurized by the fall off those mountains, in drought made by pressurizing dry air that has been driven over the mountains, we don’t just live in the mountains. We live inside them.

In the image of Canoe Bay on Okanagan Lake above, the clear space of air between the lake and the ocean drifting past above is the Coast Mountains to the West. Amazingly, we even breathe them. Amazingly, we call it our breath, not the Earth’s. Two evenings ago, this is how the Earth was breathing here.

Beneath it, the choke cherries …

… and I were breathing the sun. Of course, so was she …

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