Tuesday, February 07, 2006

looking around

In the summer of 2001 I was on a mission trip with a group of students in Colorado. We spent one of our evening hiking around a little lake in the mountains. I had a fully blown ACL that was waiting to be repaired forcing wearing a brace from thigh to mid-calf and causing me to be very careful about where I stepped. So careful that about half way through the hike I realized that all I was doing was staring at the ground in front of me, hoping not to make a wrong step. At that moment, it was almost like I heard a voice say, "Look around", and I did. It was beautiful. The trees, the lake, the mountains, the birds, the sky, even the kids running up ahead of me and I had been missing it all. My focus on the path in front of me caused me to miss the "big picture" of why I was there.
I was walking across campus today after class and I noticed that almost everyone walks with their head down, watching the sidewalk in front of them like it might shift or break open and swallow them up. No one looks around. Eye contact is almost impossible. Smiles or nods seem forbidden. It made me think about that day in Colorado and wonder how much life or beauty or opportunity is being missed as we stare only at the path ahead. What's odd is that it felt wierd to hold my head up and look around as I walked. Not odd, sad.
As Johnny Mercer once said (obscure?) - "There's such a lot of world to see". Here's to the seeing of more of it.
Look around.


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