As I greet the morning, sipping on a warm cup of coffee, body relaxing after a great workout, I walk to the lake behind my house to enjoy a beautiful scene. I think about those I love, those I miss, and catch a small vaporous thought of those who have faded from my life. My focus narrows and I center on the new phase. I think I’m learning to view and experience the world around me with a different set of eyes. Well, that’s not true. I don’t have a different set of eyes, only a different way of seeing. Well, how I use those eyes are not new either, only that I’m starting to understand the difference between seeing and truly seeing.
All my life I’ve viewed the world in such a way, I’d sometimes wonder if maybe I’d been given a different set of eyes than those around me. I find beauty in mundane things that most people don’t even give a second thought, and most often what is praised by the masses leaves me scratching my head. I can see a tree in the middle of a forest and weep at its vibrancy in the face of insignificance. My heart grows heavy at the sight of a rusty tricycle, long forgotten and neglected, shining in the sun, casting a brilliance that is almost blinding. It brings back glimpses of happy childhood memories, those often clouded by darker moments. I see the vibrant colors of flowers, leaves, grass, water, sky and earth. I notice the things out of place more often than the things spotlighted. I can spend several minutes wrapped in the peace of nature watching an ant climb the limb of a tree, or listening to the wind rustle the leaves, or smelling the scent of a beautiful flower, or running my fingers over the dew-kissed grass, and feel so connected, yet so lost at the same time.
I view people differently too. No matter the outside appearance, whether wrapped in attractive skin or gross deformity, it is the soul of a person that radiates their beauty or ugliness. In my youth, appearance was important to me and I spent a lot of time focused on what I found visually appealing. Though these beautiful people got to share part of me, claim to be my friend, claimed a few stolen kiss, and shared in many of my gifts and talents, there were always one or two friends who shared my heart – but only on very, very, very rare occasions. I was an expert and hiding my heart.
Today, after a life of heartbreak and love, I find I’m attracted to aspects of beauty that can’t often be seen with the naked eye. It’s sometimes found in a kind word, a moment of appreciation, a stirring of hope, reaching for a dream, or a spot of comfort, or a word of rebuke. Sometimes it’s in a kiss, a pair of hazel eyes, a touch, a glance, or a simple word of affection.
We can choose to see the beauty or the ugliness in everything… in our situations, in our dreams, in our daily lifestyles, in our jobs, in our friends and families, in our neighbors, in our government, in our gods … in everything. I still see ugliness, but I will admit I’m beginning to see more and more beauty all the time.
What do you see?
Till next time,