The sky covering Anchorage is amazing this morning. Between the nuances of all the grays, the streaks of soft to fluorescent pink and the golden tinged blues crinkling it’s edges, I figure there must be over 100 tones of colors gracing it’s palette.

You have to see the whole picture to really appreciate the scope of it. If I took a snapshot of a single section, it would give you an adequate idea that yes the mountains look utterly majestic surrounded by aqua and cotton candy stripes.

Or that over to the west the smoky clouds are having a hard time making up their mind over which shape to form and what color to choose as they try on ash, pewter and silver for size. Or that straight ahead to the south the sun is sitting behind a pure white cloud shaped like a twister, creating the effect that a luminous and glowing tornado is about to descend.

But a single picture of a single section doesn’t do the whole of it justice. This morning’s sky is best considered by one simply standing still and gazing all around- at every color, every tone, every beautiful blush shade, every ominous smoke shade, every ugly dirty vanilla shade, every hopeful amber shade- and just taking in the full of the picture.

You have to look at the big picture to really appreciate the beauty of what’s been created.

Just like life.

Sometimes we need to simply stop, stand still, quit staring at the snapshot of a single section and take in our full picture. Take in the dance of colors being played out in our lives, creating depth and nuance, beauty and ugliness, sorrow and hope, creating the palette of our journeys in complex ways we often can’t imagine.

I stood in Silver Falls State Park on Monday, standing still and observing the dance of my sky. A snapshot of the bright white joy of Kintsugi Pup fluff on my right, telling me a story of innocence, trust and falling in love again with a brand new furry heart after the loss of my sweet, dear old Best Friend back in the fall.

A snapshot of the light brought into my life by the Boy in the Orange Shirt on my left, telling me a story of laughter, belonging, abiding spiritual connection and the ability to open my heart to the beautiful gift Life literally placed directly in in my path at this very spot during a rainy, muddy, arduous marathon back in the fall one week after the loss of my sweet, dear old Best Friend.

Neither of these pictures existed in my life prior to that day, yet within one week the Boy in the Orange Shirt and my Kintsugi Pup had suddenly both entered in. I never would have imagined my sky would include a numinous moment where I was standing back in that same spot, all three of us, just a few months later feeling grateful and full.

We don’t always see it, the full scope of our palette, but our snapshots of days are creating a beautiful sky that encompasses the stories of us. Creating something we can’t always imagine and don’t always see if we focus on a single snapshot for too long.

And I think if we keep moving forward with love in our hearts and openness to Life, well that sometimes Life gently hugs us acknowledging that we have been in the smoky gray for far too long, and then blessing us with soft loving pinks, the steady heartbeat of calming blue, the glorious warmth of sunshine, and the promise of new color to come.