Saturday, August 26, 2006

it's all in the perspective

There was a stand of pine outside the window where we stayed last week. The way the window framed it, one could only see the bottom part -- a forest of legs below jagged-hemmed skirts. These woods reminded me of paintings of the Group of Seven – an Arthur Lismer perhaps.

They also reminded me of my everyday life. So often I feel somewhat bewildered and not sure of my way as I wander through the seemingly sunless and pathless forest of circumstances.

During this last week away, in the spirit of vacations, I avoided everything that would connect me to my suburban existence. I didn’t have to contend with the telephone, check my email or update my blog. It turned out to be a time of gaining perspective on life. Distanced from the clamor and the urgent, it was easy to rise from that forest floor and look at my life more objectively. I mulled over what has happened in the past months and pondered the direction and trends of past circumstances. And I began to pray and dream and make lists about the future

It’s like what I saw outside my window on the flight home. Of course at 30,000+ feet, one is above all that could surround of forest, city or mountain. The higher the plane climbs, the more insignificant seem all the efforts of people. How tiny the settlements appear, how skinny the roads, how insect-like the cars. Even the vast expanses of the natural world – the wildernesses, forests, prairies and mountains have their boundaries.

As we flew above all this, the light of the setting sun reflected on clouds below us. The sight of those glory clouds reminded me of God’s presence above the minutiae of the world below.

Even when the ground became visible again, now dark with the land features almost indistinguishable, the sun’s presence still stained the horizon. It was still there even though not visible to the people living in those mist- and dusk-shrouded valleys and hills.

I will try to remember this scene of largeness and God’s overarching presence as I re-enter the forest of my life.


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