It’s another grey day in Arkansas.
Over on my facebook page, I’ve been having fun sharing photos that make me feel calm and inspired. This seems to be a reaction to the tension in my work life these days; it helps to remember the peaceful and pretty places I’ve visited in the last few years, both here and in my travels. Most of them involve some sort of colorful sky, since I’m a little obsessed with the sky, and how it changes.
Today, though, which is a sad anniversary for me and many of my friends, I find myself wondering about grey days. On my recent trip to France, many of our days were grey, and I gained a new appreciation for how pretty things can still be pretty when they aren’t bathed in sunlight or contrasting with the blue sky. Like, for example, this view from the little book town of Becherel:
Or the streets of Montmartre:
But mostly, I’ve been thinking about my visit to Normandy. That was our rainiest, greyest day in France. The first place we visited was Pointe du Hoc, where Germans gun batteries were attacked by US Navy gunships, and US Army Rangers scaled vertical cliffs to take the guns, costing them 2/3 of their company.
The thing about Pointe du Hoc is that it’s a stunningly beautiful place. It’s ocean coastline, with cliffs and incredible vistas of the English Channel. It should be a place of joy and peace. But it’s pockmarked by craters, clear evidence of bombardment, and crumbling concrete structures that used to house very big guns. The views are marred by little reminders of violence.
There’s peace there now, but no joy.
I guess that’s a great summary of a grey day like today, one where we remember people that we’ve lost. For me, the sadness is the peaceful kind, the kind that time and distance allow. I’m not sure I would feel differently if it was a sunny day with a clear blue sky, but I have learned to appreciate that there is beauty even among the grey.