Just beyond our vision   5 comments

Between legs of my flight back early this morning from my cousin’s wedding, I stood in an airport shuttle at Washington/Dulles, watching for a long minute as the sun edged into view in a glory of red and orange.  Then the shuttle turned as it headed towards the main terminal, and I couldn’t see the horizon anymore.

I glanced around at my fellow passengers.  Every single one of them was looking down, intent on a cell phone or iPad or some other device.  Had they all missed beauty?  Then finally I heard one couple directly ahead of me say something about the colors along the skyline.  How often have I missed what’s just beyond my vision at the moment, but accessible with just a slight shift of attention — off myself and onto things in the larger circles of the world?

How easy we overlook what’s freely given to us!  Would we attend to it, value it more, if we had to pay a small fee each time we wanted to witness a sunrise or a rainbow or a storm?!

It’s true that we often treat what we buy with more respect than what comes to us gratis.  It’s also true that by “owning” something we feel we have a right to do with it whatever we wish because it’s “ours.”  Nature as entertainment, as a product for consumption.  “My” holly bush, “my” yard.  Imagine nature a signatory even to one of our decrees concerning it.

Meanwhile, the holly spreads its sharp leaves, unconcerned.  Red berries flash into vision, and wind sifts between leaf and fruit.

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5 responses to “Just beyond our vision

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  1. You write well.

    Like you, I’ve noticed the increasing numbers of people walking about with their heads looking down at a communication device. Once, just for the fun of it, I tapped such a girl on the shoulder and said, gesturing at what was around us, “The world is out here.”

    I spend a lot of time looking at things in nature, and I rarely come home without having seen something new.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    • Thanks for visiting, Steve, and for your kind comment about my writing. I’ve added your site to my blogroll — stunning photography! “I rarely come home without having seen something new” is a great reason to get out there — nobody needs to be a druid or anything else other than hungry to experience what the world can show us when we just pay attention. ADW

  2. I know just how you felt….I live on the edge of a nature reserve, but apart from the dog owners, none of my neighbours ever just go out for a walk to enjoy the beauty of nature. I have (had) so many wonderful experiences up there and see(n) such beauty, I would be devastated if I couldn’t go there every day. Nature makes us aware that we are truly a part of creation, and where I first became aware of the Web of Life – sheer magic!
    Thank you, Gabrielle

  3. Excellent point — “Nature makes us aware that we are truly a part of creation” — it’s not something we have to “believe” as an article of faith, but something we experience. After that, belief feels beside the point, since we already know. — ADW

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