There is an amazingly bright and beautiful tree in our backyard that blooms every year despite our lack of care. It’s produces vibrant pink flowers that bloom for months. Recently however, I haven’t noticed the tree. I’ve been consumed by the fallen flowers than “litter” our patio furniture. It’s been such an obsession that I just bought a battery-operated blower to help me reign in the waste.
The real waste though is in my thinking – my narrow, limited perspective of this tree. For weeks, I’ve had my head down focused solely on the ground and what was on it. I was looking at the tree as work, as something I had to fix. One lovely warm evening however, I sat outside. I looked up in search of the full moon, only to find the tree. The moon hadn’t risen above the roof tops but the tree was there, looking down at me with its full expanse of foliage and beauty. I smiled as only a guilty but loving child can do. I immediately knew how very wrong I was in how I was looking at this gorgeous tree towering over me. This tree had just reminded me of the importance of perspective…in my business pursuits, in my family life, in my spiritual practice. Focusing on the ground, and what was left behind, blinded me from beautiful, inspirational, heart-warming Creation. I was looking at the tree as work, rather than as beauty, like looking at children as exhausting efforts, instead of as the innocent, loving creatures that they are.
Of course there’s the well-known expression that “you can’t see the forest through the trees” that references the value of looking at the big picture. I guess I can add another version as well…”you can’t appreciate the magnificence of the tree by only looking at the ground.”