When I was 12 years old I noticed I was having trouble seeing the writing on the blackboard in school. I always sat at the front of the class anyway so I didn’t know how long my vision had been declining. But soon the front row seat did not help me see the board clearly any more. Squinting my eyes to focus on the teacher’s writing was futile and tiring. So I had my first real eye exam and found that I needed glasses for nearsightedness.
How badly I needed them was not “clear” even to me until I put my first pair of glasses on. I was sitting across a small table, maybe 2 feet wide, from the man who adjusted my new pale blue plastic glasses frame so that it fit my face and ears. The first thing I said was, “I can see the hairs on your arms!!” (Where had they been all my life?)
A Whole New World
Then when I walked out the door, I still remember, looking at the trees and seeing individual leaves and branches. Everything was clear and bright and so beautiful!! How had I missed all of this and not realized it? Evidently the changes in my vision were so gradual that I hadn’t “seen” the difference. Everything around me became new and more beautiful.
Years later, sometimes I would take my glasses off and look at the trees’ leaves just to remind myself of how the world had once looked through nearsighted eyes. Then I would put my glasses back on and almost cry with joy when I remembered how the beauty was brought into focus finally. I was given a new view of my world thanks to those glasses!!
Even now, over fifty years later, I enjoy observing my surroundings. That started me thinking about how easy it is to get caught up in our busy lives and neglect to pause and look, to “put on our glasses,” and really see what is there in front of us.
Be in the Moment
Sometimes when you have to wait for someone or an event, take a look around you and see what you might not have noticed before. If you are waiting at a stoplight, look around you at the scenery, the people, the sidewalk, or even a building; you might be surprised at what you see. You may even see someone looking at you waiting for a smile or a wave. You will be less bored and much more appreciative of your world through noticing the sights you didn’t notice before.
Are you really all there?
Now that we have cell phones with a clock, calendar, schedule, maps, information, texts, messages, photos, social media, and even a flash light, it is easy to sneak a peek at our phones at the stop lights, thus making ourselves nearsighted. But if we use those moments at the crossroads and look around us we may be surprised at what is there.
When we are walking around shopping, exercising, or even sitting on our porches, it can be a wonderful experience to use all of our senses to feel, smell, hear, and really see what there is in our lives that we have been missing. We can be isolating our senses from a wealth of sensations.
Have you ever caught yourself just shoveling food in your mouth and not enjoying it? I have read that if you put the eating utensil down after unloading it into your mouth, and actually taste what you are eating, you will enjoy it more and not eat nearly as much as you would just dumping food in there.
As a photographer I sometimes see things in a different light, or a series of objects, or often a rather unusual sight! Now I get to share some beautiful sights through my photography with my friends. The first one I saw while stopped at a light. I was shocked to see the hawk looking in my direction!
I remain thankful for my corrected vision and my glasses. The pleasure of seeing and enjoying the beauty of the easily neglected sights often reminds me to pay attention to my environment.
There are many amazing things in this world to be awed and inspired by. Some sights or photos remind us that things will get better. Others encourage us to make it through the hard times by reminding us that there are inspirations around if we look for them. Live and enjoy the beauty around you!
Sometimes just bringing a little smile to someone’s face may help them remember they are not alone. That is what I like to try to do. So here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. Take a look.