I’ve probably walked past this spot over a hundred times in the past two years. One day recently, I saw the culvert where the creek passes under the road in a new way. It looked like either the eyes of an owl or a giant pair of glasses!
I stopped and took a picture. Then, I got curious as to what the world looked like through these eyes. In order to find out, I had to backup several steps and then get down to ground level.
Where the previous angle only allowed me to see dark water; now I saw the reflection of blue sky, puffy clouds, trees and dry grasses. The change in perspective made a huge difference. Several more pictures were taken to provide a reminder of this.
I had been stuck in a rut and forgotten how to view my circumstances differently. First, I had to use my imagination and get curious about other possibilities. Next, I had to take a few steps back from my current point of view. Finally, I had to look at things from another angle.
When I followed these three steps, I discovered the beauty and clarity I’d been missing. It had been there all along. I just hadn’t seen it.
The saying about owls being wise must be true, because it was the image of owl eyes seen on the culvert that prompted the curiosity which led me to the perspective I’d been in need of.
It was an interesting discovery. While sorting through a drawer full of papers I came across one that had been tucked away several years ago and forgotten.
At the end of a seminar, each of us was presented with a unique gift to commemorate our days together. On a large piece of paper, someone had sketched the eyes of over sixty participants. The name of each person was printed neatly above one eyebrow.
I was fascinated to see the numerous shapes of eyes. Some were almond shaped while others were wide and round. The eyebrows were even more diverse. From delicately shaped to thick and bushy, the brows framed the facial features. No two sets of eyes were exactly alike.
The artistic ability required to create these realistic images was impressive. Even more so was the power of observation needed to capture the small details that helped identify each person.
I read somewhere that observation has less to do with the things you see than the way you see them. This is true for more than artists. It applies to each of us.
Many years ago I started keeping a gratitude journal. Each night I write down five things I was grateful for that day. Focusing on the positive has changed my perspective and my life. When I look for the beauty in my surroundings, the goodness in people and the life lessons that present themselves, that is what my eyes see. The minor irritations fade into the background.
My goal is to create value in all things. It doesn’t always happen but I am getting better at it. I have learned if I want to create a positive life my eyes need to be looking for the right things.