We have a unique and precious gift – our sight, even if our physical eyesight is poor. It’s amazing. We see things that only we can see.
Our sight isn’t just light waves landing on our retina. It’s also more than just looking.
Yesterday, with dogs and wellies ready, I stepped out into the sunlight on my way to feed the alpacas. The welcome sun warmed my face after days of rain and I heard the call of buzzards overhead.
High up above the trees and power line, buzzards and red kites circled around. Photography was futile. It would never truly capture this moment and all it contained. So I just paused and enjoyed it, drinking in the experience and marvelling at their effortless flight.
A few days ago I stood in the brook at the top of the valley in the damp Welsh air. Drops of water collecting on mossy branches caught my eye. The slow motion of gathering water contrasted with the post-rain muddy torrent in the stream below. Each moment unique, never to be repeated.
And I was there, seeing it all.
But it wasn’t a show put on for my benefit. I didn’t give it value by seeing it. It was a gift to me to be savoured.
That’s the thing about sight. We are the only ones who actually see what we see.
Sometimes it’s because we’re the only one who is there – like my wanderings through the valley. But even in a busy street, or gathering of people, only we see what we see. No one else is exactly where we are, with our eyes, with everything else that shapes and filters our sight.
Working with groups and teams brings this home to me. Most of the time people believe that what they see is obvious. That there is only one version of the world they are in. But it’s not. There are as many as there are people, and sometimes more…!
Genuine humility is required. The kind that both values difference and the importance of speaking up. This takes courage and grace, and needs practice!
How can you own what you see? And where do you need to value it more?
Reflecting on what I see here in the valley, I feel so blessed. Seeing the great, ever-changing expanse of sky. Noticing the astonishingly intricate folds of lichen as it embraces damp twigs. Watching as the early sun catches the dew on glossy ivy-leaves as they curl around the tree.
Gifts of wonder, not there for me but generously shared because I was looking.
But this isn’t reserved for me in our beautiful valley. It can happen anywhere.
Seeing the smile of a child, the touch of a friend. The handiwork of a spider, or the way transitory patterns of light are made through leaves and branches.
What is the gift of your unique and precious sight – just where you are?
This week I also had other gifts as we sorted through old photos of my Mum ready for her remembrance service. Each image was so much more than shades of ink on a piece of paper. They conjured up stories of times and places, of people and occasions, and sounds and smells.
I used to love her shoes and would play with her glamorous, strappy black sandals as a child. And there they were, with a gorgeous dress as she smiled for the camera. It took me right back to our Kentish farmhouse. In a moment I was there and laughed…
Our sight can surprise us, transport us and open other worlds. If we give it space and time.
I wonder what window you will open…