No, it's not a random square of blue. That is the New Mexico blue sky from back in November. I stepped out of the car, looked up with the camera, and snapped a shot of the never-ending-expanse so that I'd be able to look at it later.
The sky in Michigan is actually blue today (and yesterday, which must be some kind of record). If you don't go outside, you can pretend for a moment that you are cozy warm and that the air won't bite. But once you step outside, reality steps in and pierces through all the layers you put on (or didn't put on in foolish haste).
And now, since Carly is industriously engaged in drinking water from a random thimble she found, I'm going to let one Gordon B. Hinckley say what I wanted to say about the changing skies of life, about getting through the winter, about looking up to live.
"We know not what lies ahead of us. We know not what the coming days will bring. We live in a world of uncertainty. For some, there will be great accomplishment. For others, disappointment. For some, much of rejoicing and gladness, good health, and gracious living. For others, perhaps sickness and a measure of sorrow. We do not know. But one thing we do know. Like the polar star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives. He is the rock of our salvation, our strength, our comfort, the very focus of our faith.
"In sunshine and in shadow we look to Him, and He is there to assure and smile upon us.
"He is the central focus of our worship. He is the Son of the living God, the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten in the flesh, who left the royal courts on high to be born as a mortal in the most humble of circumstances. Of the loneliness of His living He said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
"He was a man of miracles. He reached out to those in distress. He healed the sick and raised the dead. Yet for all of the love He brought into the world, He was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: … he was despised,” and was esteemed not (Isa. 53:3).
"We look upon His matchless life and say with the prophet Isaiah:
“He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. …
“… He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4–5).
"When the great War in Heaven was fought, Lucifer, the son of the morning, came forth with a plan that was rejected. The Father of us all, with love for us, His children, offered a better plan under which we would have freedom to choose the course of our lives. His Firstborn Son, our Elder Brother, was the key to that plan. Man would have his agency, and with that agency would go accountability. Man would walk the ways of the world and sin and stumble. But the Son of God would take upon Himself flesh and offer Himself a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all men. Through unspeakable suffering He would become the great Redeemer, the Savior of all mankind.
"With some small understanding of that incomparable gift, that marvelous gift of redemption, we bow in reverent love before Him."