, originally uploaded by sherjc.

I was at Mt. Wilson, walking along with some friends back to our cars, when a familiar voice said, “Look up.”  So I stopped and looked up. That’s when I saw this shot.

When I’m in nature, I’m struck by how often I get focused on looking ahead, consumed with whatever task I’m doing (in this case, walking!). But every now and then that voice whispers, “Look up!” and when I listen, I usually see the most amazing things that I would have missed if I had just kept on with what I was doing.

This same thought struck me this morning as I drove to work. I was so focused on the task of getting to work, driving down the long stretch of freeway toward my destination, but something inside me said, “Look around!” As I looked to my left, what I saw was beautiful. It had rained that morning and night, so there were billowing clouds light and dark gray in the sky with a v-shaped patch of blue that could be seen. The sun had burst through the clouds, creating diagonal streaks of light that reached down to the dark hills in the distance.

In trying to describe what I saw, I fear my words fall short.  I wished I could have taken a picture. It was so lovely, and I almost missed it because I was so focused on my end goal. It’s just another reminder that I shouldn’t get so caught up in a task or journey that I lose perspective and miss the beauty all around me.

It makes me sad to think of all of the things I have missed. The sights I busily rushed by. The people I didn’t take the time to engage. The opportunities I never stopped long enough to see. But it also strengthens my resolve to not allow busyness, dailiness, and hurry to steal life away from me.  It reminds me to simply observe.

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