Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why is the Sky Blue

   My moment of helping with the Christmas decoration taking down took the form of helping remove the lights from the trees. I’m not sure if the memory was triggered of the sound of the lights and the cord moving against the feathery evergreen branches or something else, but I remembered a moment years ago. I was sitting in a dark room with many others, high school students and camp counselors. Bunk beds lined the walls and the metal structure sounded the rain plainly.

   I was at the Space Academy camp in Huntsville, Alabama. A tornado warning had been sounded and we had all been moved into the dorms of one of the groups. Those metal walls didn’t much to shield us from the sound of the rain and many were starting to get nervous. You could just feel the tension in the room. Quietly, our counselor called us together and asked us if we knew why the sky was blue.
   What? That question caught me, the me that is not so fond of tornadoes, completely by surprise. I wasn’t the only one. Soon we were in a conversation about light spectrums and how light bends and is created as color in our eyes. Being the rather overzealous, passionately curious, intellectual personality types, we just couldn’t resist that conversation. For the counselor, it was rather a brilliant move to distract what could have been a bunch of hysterical teenagers.
   I’m not quite sure what jogged that memory last night, but it did and now I am thinking again about why the sky is blue.