Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blue Sky Amazement

It wasn't that long ago that we left Shanghai for Boston, 13 days ago in fact, so there are lots of things that still seem sort of new and amazing to me. Awaking to clear blue sky and crisp sunlight this morning is one of those things that will never get old.

When we arrived in Beijing it was doggedly hot...of course we were living in a city on the edge of a vast desert that had choking pollution the sky and air were nearly always gray or brown.  As we grew more accustomed to the air "quality" we noticed it less and less and then only on days when it was particularly nasty, bizarre, smelly or yep on the day you actually could get a sunburn.  There were the brush the contents from the air off the car and swing set days (often), the nights I smelled a burning plastic like smell (only in the winter), the few days it looked like there must have been an active forest fire nearby, the sandstorm and a sprinkling of days in the summer of 2010 where we actually got sunburned.  Most days looked and smelled gray.

Shanghai offered a welcome respite to the endless days of gray.  The skies were blue when we arrived thanks to Expo 2010 and it was Florida in the summer hot and humid.  Shanghai came with trees and expats that bicycled and neighborhood fruit and veg stalls that you didn't have to get in the Buick to get to.  I could smell things I hadn't been able to in Beijing; flowers, crisp leaves after they fell, food cooking, sweaty children and once fresh cut grass (it was glorious!). 

Expo 2010 hit the road at the end of October and by November it was gray again.  Occasionally, a crisp blue sky day in the spring or a light gray day but seemed that the good stuff didn't last (but that's another story for another day).  Just as we had done in Beijing we became accustomed to the gray palor of everything again and a sunrise incorporating blue sky became an exciting event.

There is something pretty amazing about the sights and smells of basic things like dirt, the air as it blows off the ocean on a rainy day, snow, the smell of sunlight as it angles into the house and the beauty of another blue sky day.  I think I could get used to this.

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