by Ann Pederson

Meditation on blue: (painting by Sheila Agee)



The winter night skies beckon me into their starry paths. I wonder where I’d end up if I followed them.


midnight blue,

winter blue,

sarum blue

for Advent: season of hope.

Horizon: Where sky meets earth.

Star Trek skies. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

Cosmic skies that pinpoint our insignificance.

Lakota natives remind that heaven mirrors the earth. When the firmament meets terra firma and heavens are torn open to the earth in acts where God becomes human.

Baptism, an epiphany event.

Temple curtain torn in two—collision of,

and yet confluence of divine and human incarnation.

Star light,

epiphany—the season of revelation ablaze.

The star at Bethlehem becomes the beacon of celestial grace, beckoning us to the manger.

We travel from Advent to Epiphany.

The starlight calls us inward to the darker blue, to the palette of light and dark that is our cosmic home. The mountain skies and frigid nights were the landscape of memories. When we’d drive from Bozeman to Belgrade, the beacon at the airport would sweep the skies like a blazing flame. I’d watch the beacon’s luminous arc wax and wane as it spun, in careful revolutions. The forms of the Bridger Mountains, lit by the sweeping light, warned those pilots of the empyrean. On a rare arctic night, my dad would get permission and we’d drive down the runway late at night to look for jackrabbits. With our headlights on dim, we would creep down the runway and wait for the long ears and large hind legs to appear, only to dart away into the nightfall.

Advent blue, like the midwinter sky, promises hope. But the hope, like the beacon, sweeps the cosmos and shows us the forms of those who are lost now from hope. Now more than even, hope seems dark, cold, and lost for so many people whose lives are shattered. Aleppo—a city where the sky meets earth, violence so intense and anticipation of death so close that some choose suicide over the rapists’ touch. Blue: where earth meets sky, and spirit becomes flesh. My only hope is that this flesh will take on our fears and desperate pleas into the blue of the midnight sky and like a beacon transform them with a sweeping grace.