Photo: Sue Vincent
There it was.
Now she knew what would certainly happen. It did not matter that the calendar had counted down the days for many weeks. It did not matter that arrangements have been made, checklists marked, letters sent, particulars organized. She suspected, she resisted, she pretended …
“Pink sky won’t lie,” her grandfather had always said. A fisherman all his life, he’d counted on the minutia of the heavens to warn or greet his days.
She’d learned to accept his observations, no matter how disappointed she was with a last minute reversal of plans he’d made for her to go with him. “The water is no place for children today,” he’d say. And saddened though she’d be, she knew enough to respect his judgment of the weather, and knew him well enough to know that nothing she could say or do would dissuade him once he’d made up his mind.
“God may control the weather,” he’d tell her (though always well out of earshot of her grandmother, who would’ve boxed his ears for speaking heresy, grown man or not). “But to me the weather is the real God. I can’t see God, but I sure can see these skies, and I know what they tell me. I heed those clouds. I heed those waves. I heed those colors in the sky.”
And heed he had. Though heeding did not mean one could always escape the wrath of what was coming.
The waves had claimed her grandfather when she was not yet ten. A fast-moving storm that all had later said no one could’ve out-rowed. She almost stopped believing after that. Stopped taking heed.
Because if Grandfather couldn’t read the sky or if the sky could hide its meaning from him, why even bother trying? What will be, will be. Que Sera sera.
And yet, someplace, she never did stop checking the color of the heavens every morning. Somehow, she never did stop glancing out of windows, no matter where in the world she found herself, or how far from any seas or oceans.
Oh, she listened to the forecast. She had the Telly on while she got herself ready for the day. She checked the extended before she packed.
Yet she trusted few things better than what her own eyes showed her: Pink sky at night, sailor’s delight. Pink sky in the morning, means sailor’s warning.
The sky were ablaze.
It was dawn.
She considered herself warned.