Above the smog
Crisp blue sky
First in weeks
First I’ve breathed
Varanasi to Rishikesh
Somewhere over Uttar Pradesh
Taken during travels, 2018
Much as I loved Varanasi, and could have photographed and observed and learned and grown there for weeks longer, after just two weeks in India, my lungs and throat were shredded and I could not kick the consistent dry cough. So I escaped to the foot of the Himalayan foothills at Rishikesh, a hilltown where the Sister Ganga (Ganges River) flows into the fertile plains, becoming the Mother Ganga.
The smog there was lighter, the sky not such a faint umber-blue as I’d grown accustomed to. There were days which fooled me into believing the sky was clear. But in a month of India, I would not see a sky this blue again until my departing flight climbed out of New Delhi.
When I arrived in Vancouver, I stepped out of the airport and could feel how clean the air was. I took a deeeeeep breath of it in…
My ravaged lungs and throat weren’t quite ready for that. It took a few days before I could take that deep breath without coughing.
And, yes, this is all a metaphor for the novel coronavirus pandemic smothering the globe.