Museums, aquariums, and arboretums allow us the wonderful opportunity to get closer to things we usually view from a distance. But we enjoy the experience only if we will open our eyes to what surrounds us.
When you pay attention to the detail, you see things differently. Typically, we view a sky full of black dots and see nothing more than a few black birds flying high overhead. But when one lands next to you, perches on the branch close to your bench, you are suddenly face-to-face with one, lone bird and it changes your perspective for ever. If you look closely, you will witness the gloss and shine of individual feathers. When you lean closer, you make eye contact. The eyes watch you warily. The head cocks, the beak opens and a song erupts, bright and loud. You are privileged to hear the amazing sound of of an individual song, sung at a pitch and volume that awakens the soul and enlivens the heart.
When you are intentional in your viewing, you no longer see a pond as just another body of water. Instead, it is teaming with life that longs to be examined. If you pay attention, you see new colors and fantastic brilliance. You witness life interacting with life. You celebrate the vibrancy of the patterns and the magical movement that is as fluid as the medium containing this fantastic show.
I so enjoy the close-up view. The experience is a gentle reminder of the need to take this same approach with the people in our lives. We would benefit from looking at our brothers and sisters in the same way we examine a magpie or a clown fish. Those co-workers who share our 40-hour work week rarely receive a closer look. We’re continent to see them from the 10,000 foot level, keeping their unique lives as distant from our own as possible.
It’s an unfortunate reality of our life together. There are so many wonders in this world and some of them, our neighbors, our coworkers and friends, are closer than we can imagine. We would see them all in a whole new way…if only we would open our eyes.