“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Contrails …..

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Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Contrails”, Beaufort circa 2019

“Monday 5 Things”™  ….. Contrails …..

Growing up in Thunder Bay, some of my favorite hiking trails would lead to areas of glacier smoothed Precambrian rocks of the Canadian Shield. I could lay for hours on the sun-warmed rock and simply watch planes fly across the sky, leaving white contrails that contrasted against the caerulean atmosphere. I cherished those moments then, and perhaps even more so now. It was time spent simply being alone to think, to dream, to wonder, and to marvel at the beauty around me. Contrails became a metaphor of life for me; of where I have come from, of where I am today, and of where I am headed. This morning’s M5T is etched with questions I’ve asked myself from observing contrails.

1. A Canvas.

Contrails silently transform the canvas of clear sky. Elegant brush strokes that invoke the power of imagination, a hunger for a journey, a wanderlust, and a study of motion; begging the question of what will you do with your canvas today?

2. Flight Plans.

Contrails are the result of prepared flight plans with defined destinations. As we look up into the sky, we can see the plane is going somewhere, but as observers we don’t know where it will land. What’s your flight plan? Do you know where you are headed in your life or are you an observer, looking up, knowing that you’re going somewhere but uncertain where you will land?

3. Motion.

Contrails are a result of motion; people going places. Contrails define, separate, give a perspective, a depth, and make an impact as we draw our eyes upward. What is your perspective? Will you make the most of your time while you are soaring? What mark are you leaving behind you? How do others see your own personal contrail?

4. Sharpness.

Contrails are sharp at first, then get fuzzy and blurry. They crosshatch the sky, then fade away either through time, clouds, or the end of a day. Much like our memories that we  need to keep fresh, or they will change or be forgotten. Much like our passions in life, which if left untended, ignored, or taken advantage of, will fade and disappear. How do you keep your memories and passions fresh?

5. Clear Skies.

Contrails need clear skies. They can’t be seen on stormy or cloudy days or in the darkness of night. They are at their most brilliant when carved into the deep rich blues of a cool dawn, the vividness of a sunny afternoon, or the yellow/orange hue of a sky warmed at sunset. We all know that the storms and clouds of life can impair our vision for the future, hide our feelings and suppress our needs and desires. How will you make the most of your life on the brightest of days when your vision is the most clearly focused?

Here’s to a week of etching your own contrails across the blue skies of your life.

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T. You can reach Paul by email at dpg@imagegraham.com