Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Eyes Wide Open

A few weeks ago I was taking a walk when I turned up a path I don’t usually follow and there I spied this beautiful ivy creeping up a stone wall. I whipped out my cell phone to take a picture and thought about it all day long. What if I hadn’t made that turn? Not that missing an attractive plant would have made any difference in my life, but I was reminded once again of how much goes on in the world that we might miss if we get too set in our ways (or paths) or become unwilling to see things from another perspective.

When I was a kid I used to spend a great deal of time staring through the panes of a stained glass window on a landing of the stairs to the second floor of our house. The window wasn’t fancy in the least—in fact, the entire middle section was clear glass. But the slim panes around the edges were of different colors. If I looked through the red pane the yard below seemed to be lit with fire, the grass and rosebushes crimson. When I gazed through the light blue pane everything was serene and still.  Long moments would pass while I marveled at how differently I felt as I surveyed my yard through various lenses of color.

Recently, in my own home, I suddenly looked up from my computer to spy a woodchuck outside the window, nibbling a fallen pear a few yards away. A little while later I sensed movement on a tree outside. I ran to a window upstairs and realized that by changing my perspective a bit, I could now see a gorgeous redheaded woodpecker; he wasn’t visible from my location on the first floor.

Clearly we can’t see all things from all sides at all times. It’s impossible for us to take all paths and know all outcomes. We have to pick and choose, and sometimes in choosing one path over another we miss out on a bird, or a flower, or an opportunity. But at other times our intuition (or something else) guides us to look up at just the right moment, or to turn at just the right point, or to arrive or leave just when something wonderful (or horrible) is happening.

Some people seem to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Others seem to get it wrong a lot. I like to think that if we keep our eyes open, stay receptive to new possibilities, let go of the fear of change, and most importantly, listen within, we’ll walk on the miraculous side of life. As any artist knows, changing perspective changes the whole picture. Just have to be willing.