Per Merriam Webster, the meaning of sky is:

  1. The upper atmosphere or expanse of space that constitutes an apparent great vault or arch over the earth
  2. Heaven sense

The origins of the word are from the Old Norse sky meaning “cloud, abode of God.” 

I just returned from a trip out West, where sky definitely seems to take on the latter definition and derivation, truly heaven sense and the abode of God, especially in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.  The sky seems to go on forever, making the surrounding landscape and mountains even more breathtaking.  Basking in such tranquil, awe-inspiring, picturesque, beautiful vistas is glorious and soothes the soul.

If you have the opportunity, head out West.  Visit our National Parks.  In a time when so many are retreating to a life indoors, between work responsibilities, COVID restrictions, and electronics permeating virtually every facet of life, the outdoors still beckons.

Some quotations of the significance and importance the outdoors can have in our lives are paired with some photos from my trip:

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.

ralph waldo emerson

The mountains are calling and I must go.

john muir

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

aristotle

If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere.

laura ingalls wilder

Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.

albert einstein

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endless changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

Alexander Supertramp McCandless

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.

John Burroughs

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.  I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

anne frank

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.

john muir

The Earth has music for those who listen.

William Shakespeare

I’ll let the Bard of Avon be the prologue to my playlist.  The Earth, with its varying landscapes, nature, and sky, is magnificent.  So I thought I’d share a playlist of songs containing the words sky or skies, along with some select, inspiring videos below:

In The Sky – Mark Knopfler, one of my favorite guitarists, also making an appearance with his more recent post-Dire Straits solo music in my recent folk music playlist:

Ghost Riders In The Sky – Southern Raised, a band I had never heard of, but love this version and video:

Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum, with his classic 70s song paired with such great images representative of the decade:

The Sky Is Crying – Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Albert King, & Paul Butterfield, just an amazing collection of blues musicians:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj5kg_TTUrs

Showdown At Big Sky – Robbie Robertson, of The Band, originally the back-up band for Bob Dylan, with a great solo offering and video:

So Many Skies – Caroline Jones (duet with Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion and Zac Brown on guitar) – I had never heard of her, but exploring her music after finding this song, which I absolutely love, and am adding to my romance playlist, as it is so fitting, I discovered she has toured as opening act for both Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett, with whom she has released duets and collaborations:

Two movies (based on books) that demonstrate the power, beauty, and healing potential of communing with nature are The Way, starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, about a hike along El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) in Spain:

and Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, about a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in California and Oregon:

as well as the book Hiking Through: One man’s journey to peace and freedom on the Appalachian Trail, through hiking from Georgia to Maine:

And now for the playlist.  There are some fantastic songs, with the likes of Johnny Cash, Journey, The Animals, ELO, The Beatles, John Denver, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, INXS, U2, Jackson Brown, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Joe Jackson, Coldplay, Los Lonely Boys.  Some great music.  Enjoy!

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!