I’ve always liked horizons.
They hold a lot of picturesque beauty. Whether it’s a mountain range, a sunset on the plains, the moon rising over a cityscape, a thunderstorm over the ocean…you get the picture. And that’s it, isn’t it? The picture – the still life of what is most beautiful in our day or on our journey, the horizon is a promise of something good. We wonder what is there, and how long it will take us to arrive.
I went for a walk one afternoon this past week. The weather was reasonable (for January) and I felt a bit of cabin fever, so I set out on a quick walk on the bike path that weaves through our township. I noticed as I was walking, that my head was always down, looking at the ground just ahead of my step. This was out of necessity, as the winter condition of the path is not good – it’s muddy, and there is a lot of goose poop. We are on the migratory pattern of a multigenerational gaggle and they make a huge mess along the common areas in my neighborhood. Anyway – with my head down- I couldn’t really tell where I was going, I was only focused on where my next step would fall. I trusted that I knew where I was going and I would end up back at my house. But the truth is, if I never looked at the horizon to get a bearing on where I was, or where I was going, I could have ended up in Pennsylvania (it might have taken 2 or 3 days, and I would be incredibly stubborn for not ever getting a reality check on my location).
There is something of a life lesson in this. While going through our daily routine, we tend to focus on the details and tasks – the places where our feet fall to avoid the goose turds and the mud puddles. If we never look up to see a horizon – to view where we want to go and give vision to a dream- some day we’ll stop and look around and realize we have no idea how we got to where we are. There is no memory of places along the way, only memories of steps and missteps, avoiding puddles, and hopping over fresh goose-shit.
I am vowing to look up more at the horizon and to enjoy the view. I might end up with a little more mud on my shoes, but the view will be worth it.
Do you stop to look at the horizon, or are you always trying to avoid the goose-poop?
Bavarian Alps, Germany, May 2014