This happens in Greece. I never knew it before Mexico, and now, on lucky days, I find it here. It is a mystery, some secret combination of air and light, a clarity and a crispness of vision. It goes beyond a clear day. There’s an ethereal quality to the air itself, almost palpable, as though by holding still in sight of the crystalline ridge before me, the purity and presence of the air alone, the light itself, can sustain me.
It stops me, breathes me. It gives me heart, lifts my lungs. It is this sheer glory that births songs, makes poems, grows prayers. It is the grace of the goddess, the gods walking. It punches me in the chest. It cricks my neck, squinting at the sky. It is the eye quenching its thirst, the clamor of the city dropping away. My tongue tingles, licking rocks, sipping sky. It is the rocket that shoots inward, melting our core, melding our insides to this splendor. It speaks to the gods inside us, awakens our deities, whispers in the sunlight, in the shade. We are this magnificent–aren’t we? We are made of this earth, this stone, this air. We are not separate, not alone, not ugly. On a day like today, I am this mountain beside me. I am the pebble on its ridge, craggy outline sharp against cerulean sky. My wings itch. My spirit leaps. I can’t stop looking at me, at how beautiful I am. My lips curve. My pen and my poet pause. I have been dancing with the gods, waltzing with the mountain. I rest, panting, and watch the clouds send shadows racing across my heights.
[Editor’s note: When I found my title for this post, I started singing the song. To my surprise, it speaks to this very thing, so I went hunting it up. You can listen to Streisand singing it here: http://www2.mp3raid.com/search/download-mp3/20956195/on_a_clear_day_barbra_streisand.html.]