Do you see them? The Cardinal and the Goldfinch. They are right there in plain sight. I have been gardening for years but the last three I have really worked to develop the gardens with native plants and perennials. So now the garden is filling in. It is no longer the three small plants. It is a riot of color – dense with purples and yellow.
As the summer has progressed I have begun to notice more birds. We have had bees and butterflies each year but the birds have not been around or so I thought. This year their songs are everywhere. I see them each morning and hear their messages fade away each night as the darkness approaches. Off to bed they go.
I was so pleased. The Cardinal family is nesting in our bushes off the screen porch. The Goldfinches flitter between my neighbors raised beds and my flower garden. In my excitement I trotted over to my neighbor to let him know. “Did you see the goldfinches? Did you know the Cardinals have nested in the bushes?” He just turned to me gently (because he is a gentle soul) and said “yes, they have been here for years. Isn’t it nice to see them now?”
Wow – they have been here all along! I just couldn’t see what was right in front of me. I was so busy with other things that I was only seeing what I knew. I wasn’t opening my eyes to what was really there. I was seeing what I wanted to see – not the whole picture.
Today while sipping tea, watching the “new” found birds and scanning the news it occurred to me that this is a lot like our society. We see what we expect to see not what is really there. We look for what we think we know instead of looking with open eyes for the whole picture.
We easily jump to conclusions about the people around us, we assume this person can’t help or be a friend because of a look, a style and way of walking or the color of their skin. We shy away from things we don’t know about or don’t understand and in so doing we also find ourselves not seeing what is really there.
What I do know is that this can be changed! We can learn to see the whole picture. My focus on the garden was plants. Each morning I was looking at plants. I was caught in the details of every plant.
Now after a time I have stepped back and started looking at the big picture and in that frame there was so much more to see.
We have lived to long in our society looking at the little details of our own lives. It is time for us to step back. It is time to see the whole picture with fresh eyes. It is way past time to see all the people who live around us – clearly, with respect and a willingness to learn. We can not afford to not see each other with clear, fresh eyes!
Who is in plain sight that you are not seeing?