I flew out of Charleston very early this morning, just as the sky awoke in a blazing and glorious sunrise. I even caught a glmpse of a rainbow in the clouds. By the time we taxied down the runway and lifted off, the sun had risen above the horizon and the sky turned blue, losing the glowing shades of red, pink and orange.
Once aloft the beauty of the lowcountry stretched out below. The twisting waterways making their way to the great expanse of sea. The land verdant green, I could make out the historic pennisulea, the Ravenel bridge, 526 and even the location of my own neighborhood, yet from the air the view appeared to be looking down at almost prestine land, rather than the heavily travelled roadways and overdeveloped land that exists on the ground.
Still further we climbed, suddenly above a rather thick layer of clouds, fancifully seen as a large bag of cottonballs that God had spilled over his creation. Above us bright sun and another whispy layer of clouds. Finally we reached crusing altitude, the cotton ball pile farther below and we seemed on par with that second layer of clouds.
Again the view changed as we made our descent back through the clouds and into the metropolitan DC area, the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetary and the landmark monuments all visible, the vast networks of roads snaking across the land, carrying countless of commuters in the morning rush. Still from the air, the green of the land, the water of the Potomac were more prominent than they are from terra firma. Driving with Daddy from the airport, the endless urban sprawl that is known as Northern Virginia made the sprawl in my beloved lowcountry look downright rural in comparision.
Each stage of this hour and 8 minute flight, was a study in perspective. Depending on how you view a situation, or sometimes from what vantage point can give you an entirely different perspective on the issue, the problem, or the challenge. Sometimes a problem viewed up close hyperfocuses us on it’s worst qualities, the blemishes take cetner stage. But from a distance, the blemishes fade to reveal a beauty we might overlook. A different view can shift our attitude and our outlook.
I was nervous about this trip, I normally drive and take my beloved fur babies with me. this time I was leaving them with a housesitter, albeit, someone I trust and know will be a good surrogate for me. My mama is in the hospital and when I bought my tickets she was supposed to be home and I was to help for the first few days of homecare, due to complications beyond our control, she will be in the hospital for my entire visit. Daddy who turns eighty next month is doing well, but I wanted to be able to help more. It seems so strange to be here at my parent’s house, without my Lucky and Ella, without my mother being here and my car not in it’s usual spot. But viewing the circumstances from a different light…
Mom’s extra time in the hospital means much more physical therapy which means she will be so much stronger when she does come home. By flying rather than driving, I cut my travel time down by seven-eighths. I can’t really see the positive of being without my golden retrievers, in the almost thirteen years they have been part of my life, I have only spent a few nights away from them, only because I was hopsitalized and then they were in the care of my own mother. But perhaps with the view from a few days here managing the prep from mama’s homecoming and hanging out at the hospital I might even find the silver-liing in our brief separation.
Perspective, viewing life from a different altitude, distance, or any new vantage point you can find can change your outlook and attitude. I highly recommend a flight with a window seat to get a new view on your world.