I love big sky country. Montana. Wyoming. The Dakotas. I walk outside in big sky country and the world seems smaller. Look left. Look right. Either way, miles and miles, horizon to horizon. Big sky.

I live in a forest–a beautiful, lovable, green, urban, southern jungle. In the summer, I sit on my patio, look into the woods behind my house and see green. Nothing but green. Trees, vines, bushes, plants. Not miles and miles, but horizon to horizon. As far as the eye can see, it sees green. Big green.

Eventually, winter digs in and big green surrenders. Leaves fall, perennials go dormant, annuals die. The trees lose their canopy and there, behind them is the sky. The big sky. I can’t see miles and miles, or horizon to horizon. But I see the sunrise, and the sunsets. Through the bare limbs I see chevrons of geese and, on clear, Carolina days, an ocean of blue.

It doesn’t last long. By February the trees start to show the buds that will provide the coveted shade of a southern summer. Buttercup stems, ankle-high by late January, deliver the first blast of green.

But on this southern winter day, there’s sky. Lots of sky. Big sky.

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