Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sometimes it takes a shift in perspective

Our family spent the first day of Spring this year in the mountains - a glorious day with sun and balmy temperatures. My teenaged daughter and I were doing our usual puttering around with our cameras, enjoying the particular kind of light of late afternoon on the Appalachian Trail.

We don't usually hike at that time of the day, and the so angle of the sun was different that we were used to seeing. The result was that our familiar, ritual trail hike looked quite different from the one we usually take. We messed around with different camera angles, framing objects, and with close up and landscape shots. We tried to capture the glass-like transparency of the water, and the texture of the lichens and moss on the trees that in different light just becomes part of the backdrop.

Sometimes the beautiful things, the meaningful things, the important things are just like that. We need to see them in a different light and from a different perspective to notice them and appreciate them. Our problems, too, can take on new meaning when we step back, or we step closer to them. Look at them from around a corner. Frame them with the other pieces of our lives and suddenly - aha! We discover what we've been missing.

If you think you are missing some of the meaning in your day, stop. Take a mental close-up shot. What does this moment tell you? What is beautiful and fulfilling in it? What is unique? Now step back and look at the landscape of your life. What is this moment in the context of your life's flow?

The first step in creating is to notice. This might mean that you'll need to slow down or stop from time to time. Because in a few minutes or hours the light will shift, and your view will not be quite the same.

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