I woke up to a gray sky. The sun illuminated the spaces between the thicker portions of cloud. The sky was a light box behind heavy puffs and a matrix of veins.
I opened the side doors and fresh air swept in. Cooler air replaced the air that I’d cooked and breathed in the previous night. I stretched and lowered my battle-worn shoes to the pavement. I took another deep breath of Alabama parking lot air.
The word that came to mind as I walked was “beautiful.” I said it aloud unintentionally, and felt a startled surprise to hear my own voice. This is not a beautiful day, I thought. If anything, there is a touch of gloom. “Beautiful,” I thought again. It wasn’t the clouds or the Walmart parking lot. It was my heart and my state of mind.