We have had a month of cold, dreary and cloudy days. I was well aware of the chill factor in the air but I hadn't consciously thought of the grey skies that accompanied the drop in temperature. Then the sun came out to play the last few days.
Behold the power of a blue sky! Unfortunately it didn't beckon to me and convince me to go out and rake up the leaves which have scattered over the lawn since its last mowing, but it was pretty to see none the less.
In reality, I barely noticed the blue sky because I was too busy in my own head trying to figure out a strategy on "where to go from here" in my life. When your body, mind and soul are consumed with your own tiny little world, you tend to forget to look up.
Looking up is really where it is at. Looking up and out of your own head, home, world, community and gazing into the endlessness of the sky is a profound reminder how very small we are within our very own solar system, let alone the universe. One's troubles and worries are less than a speck in the sky.
I kept looking down, figuring, planning, conspiring and trying to come up with a plan. Looking down is seldom a good plan. Unless you are walking in a gopher hole ridden field, a pothole ridden street or an uneven sidewalk. Okay, let me rephrase that. One does need to look down at times, when the terrain you are walking on is unfamiliar. Safety first, you know. Even at that, it is still wise to stop and enjoy the view from where you are at, even when you are navigating your way through new territory.
My reminder to "look up" came to me when I was driving home on a cloudless night. The moon, in all its glory was a beacon in the sky. It was bright and glorious crescent moon sitting on the horizon which made it appear larger than life. It had a magnetic pull and I wanted to keep on driving toward it but settled for the fact that I would soon be home and could take a picture.
Unfortunately the landscape around me prevented me from seeing the moon once I was in a place where I could stop and gaze at it. But I knew it was there. It is always there. Often it is hidden behind the clouds or landscape or it doesn't shine brightly in the sunlight. But our moon is always there.
Sometimes our reminder to "look up" isn't staring us in the face. Sometimes it is hidden within a quiet exchange of words, an expression of disinterest or disdain. Sometimes we are so busy holding ourselves down and close and quiet, that we forget to look up and out into the world. Sometimes, someone is lost in their own piece of their quietness and an invitation to "look up" is exactly what they need, even when it is the last thing they want.
I am that quiet, reclusive one more often than not. Especially when I am in the thick of gathering my resources to weather the storm I'm living in or the one ahead. I forget to look up and notice the world around me. I forget to reach out and touch others. I forget the power of connection. I forget the give, the take, the yin and the yang that comes from looking up after I've been looking down too long.
Focusing inward is necessary at times. Just as it is vital to your safety to look downwards to protect yourself from the unknown. The world becomes too small when you don't look up enough. My world has become exactly that.
I have been invited out into the world this upcoming week and it is my choice whether I "stay small" or if I open myself up, look up, listen deeply and look into the eyes of those I encounter. There could be a whole "new moon" out there that I'm missing.