Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This was on our window yesterday morning, bringing in a day even colder than the one before, I think. I love the contrast between the cold frost and the sunshine on the trees across the way.
Winter seems to me lately to be a time of contrasts. I've had unexpected contrast-type moments lately when shopping, especially.
Saturday I was out and had four separate stops. I tend not to shop on Saturdays in general for the reason that many other people do shop on that day! I don't enjoy the crowds and the lines. So of course the Saturday before Christmas is about the worst time to go, and I was not disapointed. Traffic was crazy and stressful. Parking lots were full. People were not at their friendliest.
Even so, I had three unexpected contrasts on Saturday. I was third in line at the post office, of all places! Hardly had to wait a bit.
Then I went to buy Christmas cards in a little Catholic bookshop, and it was not crowded at all, and they still had plenty of cards remaining. (I was afraid I would find only the dregs, so to speak, or that they would all be gone.)
And then, when I was walking from my car across the grocery store parking lot, it was all getting to me. I was tired, and hungry, and thinking all kinds of thoughts about what a mess our culture is, with the commercialization and the inequity among people, the rudeness, etc.
I looked up at just the right time and saw a hawk riding the thermals. I just stopped and watched for as long as I could, until he disappeared into the thick clouds. Three minutes at the most, I suppose it was. But three minutes that changed my interior landscape, as three minutes can often do.
That hawk soaring up above the commercialized chaos down below was a powerful reminder of how short-sighted we can be. It's largely my not looking far enough that leads me to feeling stressed, or seeing only the bleaker parts of the scene. There's always more, whether I see it or not. Like the sunlight beyond the frost. Which I didn't see when I took the photo, only later as I was putting it here on my blog.
It's always worth looking up, and remembering, remembering, remembering, that our immediate experience is only that. There is always more that we don't, and often can't, see in the moment.