This morning was what the Dude would call "mostly cloudy." I don't know how it's done now, I think it's all computerized, but in the olden days, you held a clear frame over your head that was divided into about 12 panes. And you called it "sunny" "partly sunny" "partly cloudy" "mostly cloudy" "cloudy" based on how many of the panes had clouds in them. As writing goes, it's not terribly descriptive. Like, everyone has some idea of what "mostly cloudy" means, but it doesn't evoke. It's flat.
As a Dudette for more than 25 years, I'm particular about weather accuracy, extending to such phenomena as sunrise, sunset and moon phases (just ask michaeljasper what I wrote in the margins when I read the rough draft of his book). Sunrise today was at 7:10. I took E to school a half hour later, just as the sun had cleared the horizon (and straight into my eyes as we headed east down the drive, past the Hanging Oak). Because the cloud cover was broken, the sun occasionally came through these long strips. Look, there's a technical term for this, but I'm not going there. When the technical terms start flying, I glaze over. Unless we're discussing "virga" or "mammatas" or "sun dogs" terms I can actually remember. Never mind.
Light. Early morning light, that slants from the side. Light in opposition to dark. The sky was striped with blue/purple/gray clouds and the sun split them apart, shafting across miles and miles of foothills to the west. Light against the slopes while I was in shadow. Light that robbed color. Light creating a white-out effect on winter grass that was already blonde and now was washed out in the early morning's light. And I drove in shadow, in blue/gray shadow of dark, standing in Plato's cave gazing out and blinded by the brilliance of harsh light I saw ahead of me. Enwombing. (new word) I drove round a bend and was thrust out of the womb. The sun stripped across the field in front of me, across the road, breaking the ground twilight apart as it had the clouds in the sky, the foothills to the west. Exposed. The flash on a camera. And back into the purpled gray. In that moment, I saw my future, I saw my path before me. And it was gone just as suddenly, that light, leaving me grasping for the words to evoke the experience. Out of that light, I feel out of my element, wordless, breathless, a gasping fish on the bank unable to return to the watery womb.
And it's over now, that early morning moment as precious and as different as a sunset. The sky is blue and cloudless in places, the sun climbs and warms the earth, no longer slants across it like a stone skipped across the water.