I took this picture from a ski lift in the French Alps. I think it is beautiful, yet it doesn’t capture the true magnificence of the scenery. This morning back in the UK I took my dog Ash for a walk and got a different view. It is amazing what a difference a different approach can make.
The sharp drop in temperature and clear skies made it a cold and crisp morning. I walked, Ash ran, around a big circular field in the usual clockwise direction. I was thinking about my holiday, the things I had to do today and life in general. Ash was excited because I was home, I was enjoying the walk and we stayed out longer.
When we came back to where we’d started, rather than simply going around the field again, I turned and went anti-clock wise. No big deal, but not my normal routine and, for the first time in a long time, I paid attention to what was around me.
I’ve walked Ash there hundreds of time, literally hundreds, yet today I saw two houses I’d not seen before and the roll of the hills beyond the top edge of the field. They weren’t new houses, the field hasn’t changed and so I wondered why I hadn’t seen them before. I reasoned that the trees around both houses were now bare due to winter and, perhaps, the owners had cut back a high hedge. However that didn’t explain the hills and the fact I’ve not noticed them before!
I realised several things that had literally changed what I was seeing; I had walked in a different direction and therefore approached from an alternative angle, the season was different making previously less obvious things visible and, crucially, I was paying attention and taking in what was around me rather than being lost in my thoughts.
Just a couple of days before I took the picture in France the trees were green and brown - still beautiful, still tress, still in the same place but different. A change in weather, the snow falling and freezing conditions had transformed them.
How often do we miss something beautiful or important because we are only looking at it from one perspective or not paying attention? Do we feel stuck in a rut because we are approaching life from the ‘usual’ direction? How often do we misunderstand or misjudge someone because we are fixed in our own view and thoughts? And, perhaps importantly for some, how different will everything be, look and feel in another season or simply in a few days time?
I’m now wondering what else in my life would benefit from a new approach, a different perspective, having my proper attention or waiting to see how a few days or a new season will change things.