Did you see that?

I found this poem by Christina Rossetti in a micro book my mother-in-law gave our kids. The book is titled “A Treasury Of Children’s Poetry”, published by Running Press.

(click on the pages to enlarge)

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To be honest, I’m not big on poetry but what struck me about this poem was how simple and accurately it stated something that we all innocently overlook. It provides a new view on an occurrence that is so common, we long ago retired any intuition of analyzing the scenario.

We believe we see the wind, but in fact we can’t. We only see the effect of it’s presence, and perhaps rob ourselves of a greater reward. We see the leaves dance, we see the waters ripple, we see the snows plume. We feel the chill as the wind snakes through our collars and slithers down our necks.

This is a wonderful analogy for other aspects of our life. Like the wind, we only see the result of the effort. Given any favorable outcome, when was the last time you really thought about what went into that result?  A glowing report card, a fabulous steak, a storm front captured in watercolor, a wooden canoe.

Have you ever found yourself watching the special features located on the back end of any DVD, and been engrossed by the amount of effort that goes into making just one scene? Think about the collective amount of experiences and practice that merged for the outcome.

This perspective is just as applicable in our homes, as is any other place in our lives. Study your fireplace, a kitchen cabinet, the view from your kitchen sink, the walk in closet, the stones around your perennials. How many generations of craftsmanship went into making sure those details are still executed within the band width of their intended design period? How many decades have the principles of the Craftsman movement traveled to insure your oak rocker is accurate? How many decades have the principles of your Gothic Revival stove hood had to transcend for you to find value in it? As the saying goes “the journey is the reward”.

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In the book “Pilgrim At Tinker Creek”, the author Annie Dillard does a wonderful job describing her observations of seasons passing. In one chapter she describes with much astonishment, how a flock of migrating starlings vanish into a barren tree. She can hear them, she saw them fly over, she sees them land, but when she looks, they are invisible… until they take to flight again. This act of really trying to see, reveals a new level of amazement, wonder and appreciation.

To quote her, “what you see, is what you get”. I hope you get a lot, it’s free… like the wind.

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3 thoughts on “Did you see that?

  1. I read that book years ago and it made such an impression on me. See really knows how to look at things. One thing I remember is how extravagant nature is with thousands and millions of seeds or babies, not just one or two. I think I will look for this book again for a reread. Did I read somewhere that she has decided not to write anymore? I hope not.

  2. A few years ago she was doing a lecture tour and stopped at a local small college… I don’t know if she is still writing. Let me know if you can’t find a copy of the book in France.

  3. Mmm… you pursued that thought out nicely. It brings to mind discussions on the experiencing of God, as well.

    Have a lovely day. You have enriched mine.

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