It is not the first time the snapshot is unable to capture the scenery. Many a time a photograph falls slightly shy of portraying the beauty my eyes see. I smile because if the picture I shared was of a mountain view or an autumn woods vibrant in its color-changing display, I anticipate “wow” or “spectacular” or “breathtaking” would be what you would have to say.
Perhaps you would relate the picture of the mountain to a mountain you had once seen. In looking at the picture you would remember your own heart’s awe-filled feelings. Or perhaps because you love the Fall season as the leaves transform from green to yellows, oranges, and deep reds, any autumn image that captures these changes are the ones you love best.
You see with your eyes, and you also see with your memories. You see with what you value, and you see through what you believe. You see through what others have taught you and through the choices you’ve made in how you’ve heard what others teach. You see through the meaning you choose to give to what is insignificant and what is extraordinary.
A fallen tree now the home of green moss from years of laying on its side. The tree no longer vibrantly leafed out nor majestically upright. You might refer to its decay, “just a tree rotting away” you might say. I anticipate you wouldn’t think of the green and brown colors and their symbolism of heart and grounding. Or that this tree is a bridge across the water’s serenity.
You did notice the water, right? Or perhaps the bare sticks and twigs distracted your sight. Again, maybe because you find Winter’s beginning somewhat gloomy, your eyes only notice affirmation that the absence of leaves feels oh, so very empty. The reflection against the water may not be miraculous from your vantage point only because your eyes are not seeing what makes your heart happy. “Oh, hurry fast dear Spring” is what your mind repeats on behalf of your heart’s longing.
How else might you see this moment in time? May I ask, would you have even noticed as you walked or ran by? Invisible, we don’t always know, the wounds we can’t see. This scene in Nature much like people we may pass by or we may meet. Individuals who find it hard to be noticed yet wish to feel worthy of being seen.
I had the recent honor of hearing words of wisdom from someone who journeys with PTSD. This individual shared about times who he holds dear also feel the challenge of his pain and grief. He then shared about how his service dog is a reminder to others that helps them re-establish understanding. Though these aren’t his exact words, I couldn’t help but think. When we set aside our own way of seeing, we can find extraordinary scenery.
Like the beautiful reflection of the surrounding woods shining serenity.
Or the beautiful souls we are currently rushing past without noticing.
If you look back at the picture now, what do you see? Still a bare or colorless Winter scene? Or perhaps now a piece of the image has caught your attention differently.