Text: Psalm 19
Speaker: Ruth Leonard
On the ride to the airport I soak up the sky -the amazing clouds, the vast deep, brilliant blue. Before entering the terminal, I take my last deep breath of Columbus air. I won’t breathe it again until I return. Hours later the plane descends into a brown haze, I land in Beijing, and the sky is no more. Lest you think me overly dramatic, I’ve been doing this since 2003. I have only seen the pollution grow worse,—much worse.
The first time our family landed, we were aware of a smell—an acrid sensation we had never experienced. It permeated everything, but became much more pronounced when we arrived in Xinxiang. You got used to it. You accepted it. If the air cleared for some reason, everyone was happy. A day with blue skies was nearly a holiday. It was a faintish blue, but it offered a hopefulness. But that happened so infrequently I would note it down on my calendar. And we would take a photo.
Xinxiang is southwest of Beijing, about the same distance...