What am I not seeing?

40 Questions We’re Afraid to Ask – #9

What am I not seeing?In the haste of daily life, what am I not seeing?

This question brings on thoughts of the old “can’t see the forest for the trees” metaphor. But there is much more here than meets the eye (pardon the unintended pun). Very often, with the speed at which modern Western life seems to run, we don’t even slow down enough to see the forest itself.  In fact, it often ends up being little more than an obstacle we must get past in order to get to where we’re trying to go.  

My route to work used to take me through a very industrial area of town.  It was not what one would call a tranquil or scenic trip.  The traffic was often heavy, much of the drive went parallel with an elevated highway, the buildings, for the most part, were old warehouses — some of which were under renovation into lofts and rental spaces.  There were hardly any trees or flowering hedges — at least none that would likely be noticed by the average driver.

flowers on the roadsideOne day, while sitting at a traffic light . . .

. . . along that same route, I found myself taking my mind off where I was headed and just enjoying the now of the moment.  It was what it was, after all, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about getting the light to change any faster. All of a sudden, I started noticing wild flowers and tall grasses growing along the roadside that I had never noticed before.  They were beautiful!  Right there in the midst of what would otherwise be considered an ugly cityscape was nature at work in all its glory.  I looked around and saw a baby giggling in the car next to me.  There was life, happening right there all around me.  In the haste of getting to work every day, what else was I not seeing.  Many times after that, I found out.  It made my drive so much more pleasant and rewarding.

Spiritual masters talk about the silence and the space in between that makes life and all that exists possible.

stop and smell the rosesThe key is taking time to listen and look for that silence and space.  It is in the silence and space that we discover the true beauty of life.  It is in that silence and space that we find the answers to our questions.  We are so busy doing what we’re doing, getting to where we’re going and searching for the solutions to our problems that we miss the beauty of life and the answers that are sitting right there in front of us, or more often, inside us.  There truly is great value in taking time to stop and smell the roses.  Who knows what you might see in the process?

Steve Vernon photo

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