The Forest for the Trees

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This is the view from the mountain house we rented this summer and where we kept extending our stay through the middle of October. The house is surrounded by beautiful woods. We’ve seen turkeys, a bear, a family of deer, and a wonderful array of birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

We went back to Philadelphia last week to check on our home and see if our election ballot had arrived. (It had not. But we’ve since gotten it and VOTED yesterday!).

When we returned to the mountaintop, autumn had appeared with a flurry. Some of the beautiful golden leaves had already fallen – a loss of some of the beauty in the foreground.

As we looked up, we saw a sight we had never seen before: this majestic mountain. It had been there all along. You can see it if you look closely at the top center of the photo. Even though we “knew” it was there – we had seen the eastern and western sections of the range that it is a part of, the trees in the foreground blocked both our view and our sense of the presence of the mountain.  And now, with the “loss” of the golden leaves, the mountain had come into view with the splendor of autumnal color.

With writing pen in hand these days, the metaphors keep jumping out at me. This time with some questions: what else am I missing by focusing so often on the foreground?  What occurrences are happening that I consider “losses,” that might have a beautiful mountain lurking, waiting to be seen, behind them?

Yes, it’s important to be fully in the present, being aware and appreciative of the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet.  But the foreground is only part of that present, part of the awesomeness of this world of ours.

What have you been missing? What “losses” are also openings to new horizons? As someone who might not necessarily be a role model used to say, “Can we talk?”