“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.”

~ Betty Smith

For some reason, I find this hard to do in winter.  It’s almost as though my eyes go numb after a while.

Is it the cold, grey light that causes that?  Or perhaps it’s the cold that makes me tuck my chin down into my coat collar, thus angling my eyes so they peer down at my feet?

Whatever the reason, I seem to lose my ability to really see the landscape around me.  It even feels blurred when I consider it now, after dark, via the mind’s eye.  And I find myself incapable of seeing, say, the desk lamp with the same level of wonder and awe reserved for trees and birds and plants and sky.

And this tamped-down sense I have, that the world is somehow veiled from my eyes, only makes me more anxious for spring.  I was talking to a friend about it today, and she said, gently, that I might want to calm down because most people reserve this level of longing for spring for late February.

I’m not exactly living my life in the now, either, if all I can think of is the world as it will be in a few months.  I mean that I can literally walk in the garden and within my mind’s eye overlay the bare, leaf-blanketed earth with visions of what might be, given some time and effort.

Maybe that’s why my eyes don’t seem to be working so well.  I’m retreating into the mind’s eye much more often these days.  It’s more of a subtle rejection of what is, a slow-simmering “no” to the season and the cold.


There is beauty here, and now.  I just have to stop defining in advance what qualifies as Beauty and accept whatever unfolds before me.  Or at least keep my eyes open and focused on something other than my feet.

How is your sight faring this season?


11 Responses to “seeing”

  1. Ever find that the harder you try sometimes, the more elusive something becomes?

    My camera helps me to focus on the here and now and I rely on it to remind me that what appears blah and colorless at first is actually teeming with visual interest. It still doesn’t stop me for longing for Spring though.

    • Talon, you are so wise. It is like banging my head against a wall, and even I wonder why I’m so stuck on this idea. I think that I need to let go — truly let it go — of the idea that I can feel as buoyant and alive and insightful and energetic as I did during the peak season. I think I keep pushing myself when what I probably need to be doing is resting and gathering energy now.

  2. I guess it is with this experience of cold and white winter that makes a person appreciates spring even more.

  3. I like to think of nature as sort of sleeping right now and gearing up for the spring – things are in motion already for beautiful unfurling. It is difficult to not sink into the blues right now – I feel as if I’ll never get warm and I’m usually sort of hot-natured.

    • Oh, Lynn, that’s exactly how I feel, as though I can’t get warm, can’t get my verve and joy of life into the proper gear! Ah, well, Talon’s right, less striving is in order. 🙂

  4. Hello Meredith,

    Your title photo is so beautiful. Sometimes I yearn for cloudy, gray days since we do not get them often in the desert. Isn’t it funny, but we actually can get tired of bright, sunny days and applaud when we waken and it is cloudy. I look forward to spring and seeing everything awaken through your blog.

    • Noelle, it’s hard for me to imagine getting tired of sunny days right now — but this summer, without AC for the first hot season in the south, I got so sick of the hot sun, so ready to welcome autumn, that I can imagine that if the weather rarely changes, it would become a bit tiresome. However, I have to say that on my one visit to the desert Southwest region of the US, I was in awe of the austere, bright beauty of the land there. It’s got to be one of the most lovely lands on earth. While visiting, I truly felt as if my skin were drinking sun, as if I were breathing sky.

  5. Just for a few minutes, I was enjoying listening to a little rain gurgling into the tank. That fresh smell of rain on dust … More please tonight I hope!

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