Direct Your Gaze

Early this morning, coffee in hand, I stood in front of the sliding doors that lead onto our deck and listened to the birds thronging happily around the feeder. One of the things I love most about our new house are all the different birds – who knew that moving eight miles down the road would put me in completely new ornithological territory. I’m learning to identify them now – the bright golden finch, cuddly tufted titmouse, chickadees and wrens – all scrabbling for territory on the perches.  But when the red-bellied woodpecker makes his appearance, they hover reverently on the surrounding bushes, allowing him to sup in regal splendor.

Today, something caught my eye and directed my gaze upward into the soaring branches of an oak tree. Maybe it was the shimmer of that tree’s last golden leaves, or the piercing blue of winter sky. What might have been a passing glance turned into a stare of wide-eyed wonder. For every bird gathered around my feeder, there were at least a dozen flying in and out among the branches of that tree. I had to crane my neck to see them, those flecks of gold and brown as they swooped and dived in and among the uppermost branches. It struck me at once that they lived SO high in the sky, like high rise apartment dwellers, and must be constantly looking down on my, pitying me for my groundedness. 

And I knew then that I’ve been walking through life with my head down, my eyes in the wrong place. There are entire other worlds to see if we just look up once in a while. 

Direct your gaze and see the world differently.

I know I will be doing that more often after today.