Archive for 16 October 2011

Just beyond our vision

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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