My backyard is a forest. Well, I should say the people behind my house have a forest– my yard just happens to meet on the verge of it. Thus, I get to enjoy the fruit of beauty without having to plant the seeds of the effort of maintenance.
Over the spring, summer, and fall, I spend a lot of time outside. I’m quite the nature junky, aside from being chewed on by flies and gnats, or witnessing the occasional snake. Maybe even having to crush a spider under my shoe while I try to remove the goop and stickiness.
I tend to work outside most days with tolerable weather, my egg chair pointed towards the woods. All of the trees, plants, and bushes seem to be right in my face. Beauty magnified. However, if I look behind my neighbor’s yard to the right, the trees are more distant, and I can see the wide range or scope of the forest more plainly. I imagine an aerial view of these properties could produce a much more complete picture.
While I’m looking into the forest most closely located, I can see so many beautiful details. The different types of trees with differently shaped leaves, bark, and a slightly different shade of green, seedlings, the layout of the land, a stream, and the soil peeking through. I can see the brush on the ground, a fire pit, bees buzzing, lightning bugs flickering, logs from dead trees, baby trees making their runway debut… My vision here is much more precise, and I can take in a greater understanding of the gossip of nature; however, I can also tend to get lost in it. Feeling like the forest is everywhere/all around and seeing no way out can leave me quite jaded wondering if I will ever find a way out.
The middle view I can see from my neighbor’s yard to the right allows me to see things in slightly less detail, but it offers the symphony of winds. As the wind blows, I can see leaves move and shake, flittering uniquely to each tree. As a great wind blows, I see the trees dance in sync. Still no known way out of the forest, but a little hope now observed in the tree line… I think to myself, there must be a way out because I see the borders of the trees against the skyline, so it only makes sense this has to end somewhere. Although I cannot see the fine details, I am able to see beauty from a different perspective.
The aerial view, which I am imagining I can see through a helicopter, would show me the entire blueprint– the way out! But, I sacrifice seeing the intricate details of the bustling nature of the trees waltzing in sync. It all looks like a big blob from this height… BUT: I see a way out!
There is a time and a place for each of these views– close/narrow, middle, and aerial. In the narrow, I can see so much but have sensory overload. The middle ground gives me a new perspective of beauty and hope– but who hopes for what they see? If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. So the middle ground also teaches me patience, and to appreciate the beauty of nearness. The aerial view shows me the way out, but the green smears together like a watercolor canvas. Everything has positives and negatives, benefits and tradeoffs. If I only wanted to see life from one view, I would miss out on the artistry and charm of the other views.
Oftentimes, we want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to see the big picture of what our life will bring in a complete blueprint… That way there are no unpredictable elements; however, from this view, we fail to understand that there is much unpredictability in the details, but that unpredictability can be exhilarating. We miss out on so much of the present moment thinking only about the future.
Other times, we spend time watching others enjoy life at a distance. We may take joy in watching the symphony of life, but fail to experience it ourselves because we fear being immersed in it… which may make us too vulnerable.
And sometimes, we want to spend so much time worrying about the present and everything that is overstimulating our minds at the moment, that we forget there is a future.
It is in the amalgamation of these views/perspectives that we find life’s greatest joys. Not too much of one, or too little of another, but a perfect balance of its dance.
In which of these areas do you spend most of your time residing? What are the benefits and tradeoffs of that view? Let our compassionate counselors at NuWell Counseling help you to see the forest through the trees while teaching you to enjoy the present moment. Let us teach you to disallow the buildup of anxiety, depression, fear, sadness, overstimulation, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, or any other unbearable issue you may experience– to interfere. Life is beautiful, let us not miss it!