Sometimes you have to be late to dinner for reasons outside of your control. Like your kid covers herself in yogurt, or your husband can’t find his shoes, or you can’t find your car keys.

Other times you have to be late to dinner because the sky is a smudge of colors so astounding you can’t believe they’re real. And not just real as in, you can see them, but real as in they’re up there in the sky and the pictures of them are not photo-shopped or filtered at all.

So you obviously have to drive past your destination because there are too many cars and hills and buildings around for your kid, who you’ve told to take a picture of said sky, to get a good shot. You drive past your dinner destination, a little away from town, back into town up a big giant hill and pull over onto a picturesque, cobblestone road you’ve been on many times for this thing: to take a picture from above, of the sky and river and marvel at the way they meet, the way they’re never the same colors or shape.

Luckily, in the time it took you to get away from all the cars and buildings, the colors didn’t dissipate too much. They’re still there and brilliant enough to warrant such a thing as going off-course to take some pictures in six degree weather. You bail out of the car with your daughter, snap a bunch of pictures, then get back in. Drive to your grandparents’ house.

Your daughter says, “We can show these to Grandpa.” And your son says, “Yeah maybe Grandpa can paint it!” And you smile because, yeah. Maybe Grandpa can.

Then you get to your grandparents’ house and explain that you were late because you were chasing the sky. And of course that’s okay with them. They’re the ones who taught you to chase the sky in the first place.

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