Sunday, November 26, 2023

Look up, look out . . . great advice

We can get so focused on what's going wrong in our lives, it can be hard to look away or step back. I don't know where I first heard this admonishment when I was feeling down, but it has served me well: Look up, look out. Very few troubles don't fade back into the right perspective if I can get out of my own head for a short time. Looking up as I take a deep breath almost always helps me. Yet it can take emotional energy to do so when I want only to wallow in my own interior issue.

One of the best things about the location of my retirement community is that it's a high-rise, and I have an apartment on the tenth floor of the twenty-four-story building. My vista overlooks comparatively low buildings, allowing me to see a huge expanse of sky. Long story short . . . it  has never been easier to look up and out. After sixteen months of living here, I still cannot believe how lucky I am to see this much sky from every room in my apartment. Even though the location of my former home was very near the Sammamish River, I didn't see much sky because of the trees along the riverbank. Yes, it was a gorgeous outlook, but I had to walk outside and step away from the building to see the sky. NOTHING like what I see now.

No, I don't see stars anymore and I miss them. City lights are too bright. But when it's dark outside, I can see the moon and the brighter planets (Jupiter and Venus) from my easy chair, at least when their trajectories are aligned with my outlook, and there are no clouds. I also can see airplanes on a flight path that's frequently directly overhead. During the day I frequently seeing crows and seagulls flying on the same level  I'm standing while gazing out my windows. But the best view is just the enormous expanse of sky, especially at dawn. 

With the recent change to standard time, sunrise has become the highlight of own entry to each day. I'm still groggy from a my nightlong sleep when I round the corner to my combo living room/kitchen to be greeted by beginnings of morning light.   

How can a person be in a bad mood when the day starts this way? Yes, I look up and out every day in my apartment and feel fortunate to have the opportunity.

I have dozens of sky pictures, many taken during other parts of the day, too. I've just picked three sunrise shots to share. I sit at the table in the morning by the window and just stare as long as I want into the changing light. Even on heavily clouded days there are often color stripes that leak into the clouds through the rain. No wonder we imagine heaven being above us when we look up at such beauty.

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