Friday, May 16, 2008

Looking Up

One of the perks of getting up at 4:45 every morning is that during this time of the year the sun is just coming up. I walked out of my apartment this morning and almost stopped dead in my tracks. In front of me was the most beautiful sunrise I've seen ever in this city. (Being from the country sometimes I wonder if nature can be beautiful in the city. I'm working on that.) The reds and pinks and purples had me breathless, or maybe that was the tree pollen, but it was fascinating nonetheless.

Sunrises, sunsets and stars. They seem to be something most people tend not to notice very often unless they hear about an eclipse in the news or a comet or such. I remember as a kid growing up reading some book (and if any of you know what it's called let me know) about a baby hippo who gets "lost." Except he's not really lost. He's standing on the top of a hill looking down at his family of hippos who are all wandering around looking for him. He's having the time of his life because he doesn't know that all their stirring around is because they think he's lost but eventually he figures it out and starts to wonder when someone will just look up. Such a simple thing to do and there he'd be waiting for them. But no one looks up for the longest time. It's very much like the world today. We're all busy "keeping our eyes on the prize" that we tend to forget the little things that we need each day. When was the last time you literally stopped to smell the roses? Did you notice the passing of the daffodils and the blooming of the lilacs this spring? Have you been so busy in your life that you haven't realized the grass needs mowing, the plants need watering and that the trees have pretty much unfolded all their leaves?

It makes me think about this song by Athens Boy Choir. He's a transgender FTM performer from Athens, Georgia and he writes spoken word poetry accompanied by music of some sort. I saw him live up in New Hampshire once and loved it! One of his poems/songs is called "Settle for a Hello." It's all about how people walking down the street don't talk to each other, don't really even notice each other and, if they do, they look through you when they're talking to you. Yep, we'll look anywhere other than into someone's eyes these days. When did that happen? It's never been a part of my culture to not look someone in the eye. If someone doesn't look me in the eye when I'm talking to them I think they've got something to hide. Then again, I'm guilty as charged. I have the worst time looking someone in the eye anymore. To many lies in the past, too many broken promises. It seems looking someone in the eye is a whole level of trust that I've lost. It's a huge inner struggle for me to force myself to look someone in the eye sometime. I catch myself looking over their shoulder or down at the ground.

Sigh, and now we're back to the point of the story. Look up!!! There's a whole world passing you by and you're missing it watching your feet shuffle on the side walk and not even noticing the ants scurrying around. LOOK UP! Maybe that person walking towards you has the most beautiful eyes in the world and you're going to miss it. LOOK UP! Did you see the falling star? LOOK UP! Watch the world live and be part of that living! LOOK UP! See the tears in the eyes of your friend struggling to go on after losing their best friend. We miss so many opportunities when we stare, glassy eyed at the world. Look up and find you in the people passing through your life.

No comments: