A Piece of the Sky

"Watch, he cried.  "Watch."  He looked up through the skylight.

I looked.  It was nothing much, a bright square of blue sky with strings of cloud slipping across it.

"Isn't that glorious?  At night I lie here and watch the stars fill the frame.  One of these nights the moon will be there for me.  I can think so quietly with my eyes on my own piece of sky.

"I was saying to myself last night how I didn't have any property, but I did own a piece of sky.  It's odd how the window makes you think you are all alone with its frame of stars." - J. Blue (from Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly)

This passage reminds me of a time when my father was in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital years ago.  Needless to say, it was a depressing place to be in.  The nurses desk was in the center and the curtained cubicles surrounded it.  It was eerily quiet except for the noises of the ventilators and other machines.  There was only one TV and it was turned off.

I asked my dad how he was doing and how he passed the time.  He pointed to the only window that was across the room.  It was at most, 18 inches tall and perhaps 12 inches wide.  All I could see was a few branches and a lone leaf hanging from it.

My dad told me he would look out that window and watch the change of light as the day went by.  It gave him hope that he would be going home soon.  That time he did come home.

To this day, every time I look out a window, no matter the size, I focus on a branch and think of my dad and his own little piece of the sky.

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