I can’t stop staring at the sky. Stunning. Last night’s rains have blown away all the crap that hangs around the Los Angeles sky. Today, the sky is clear blue. Not the usual hazy, yellowy-at-the-horizon blue, but clear, blue. Stunning. I take a breath of the sky. The air has the anticipatory chill of the last days of autumn. It’s cool, as cold as LA ever gets in the day, but the sun is out, and sharp in its brightness on my face. Stunning. Clouds have replaced the smog. Fluffy, expansive, gray-white clouds. Clouds that other landscapes take for granted, but rare enough in the LA skyline to be special. Floating in a slow migration and low enough to be just overhead. Stunning.
Clear blue skies are like moments of stunning clarity for the city, when rain banishes the manmade fog that shrouds the city, the limits to the horizon disappear and the brown foothills are just waiting to burst into verdure green hillsides. From the 110 to 105 carpool lane interchange, one of the highest vantage points to the city, the city gleams cleanly. Smog blankets Los Angeles for so many days out of the year that one can’t help but take those limits to the horizon as the norm. The city's destiny. But when blue skies return, and the sky is clear from Catalina to Pasadena to Anaheim, I remember that there are cities beyond those limits, that the fluffy white clouds I see today over Mount Baldy are beyond the usual boundaries of my vision. And all I can do is exhale in stunned relief.