Over the weekend we took a little time to get out in nature and enjoy the quiet. Even though we live in the desert and our corner of it is pretty and peaceful, there is still something about heading down a dirt road into an expanse of untamed land.
The huge boulders are one of the amazing things to love about the desert. They come in a variety of shapes and are scattered in piles all over the landscape like Legos in a toddler’s playroom. While you can drive for miles through crazy Joshua trees with no boulders around, one turn, and you can come up on monstrous rocks ripe for the climbing.
It’s the juxtaposition of huge, smooth boulder piles and flat mesas dotted with spiny yuccas that defines this part of the desert, and we love it. There is nothing like clambering up the grippy rock to chill and watch the view and breathe in the quiet air.
This weekend, I was reminded about much perspective matters. I had climbed up into a shady spot of a boulder pile and was chilling out. It was a 100 degree day, so it was more suited to sitting still and observing than scrambling around on the rocks. In front of me was a view totally filled with other rock piles. Some of the rocks jutted up to the sky like fat arrows and others curved and fit together with the architectural precision brought about by years of weather and erosion. The shadows of the rocks to my back fanned out in front of me providing shade from the heat of the same sun that aided in painting the long grey obelisks at my feet and sending them out across the rocks. For the those moments, my world was filled with rocks.
My hubs headed on a short walk and explored the rocks out in front of me. He climbed some of the piles and then came back to sit with me in the shade. When we walked back to the car, I turned to look at the rocks I had been sitting on, one cluster among many, hardly unique.
It wasn’t until we got home that I saw this picture. He had taken it from the rocks in front of where I was sitting. And the amazing thing about the picture is that it looked completely foreign to me.
I had had no idea that the backdrop to the rock pile I was on was a valley of open space. I didn’t realize that that pile almost sat alone at the edge of the other piles and that there was emptiness all around it. My view into the rocks was cozy and close, but the one behind me was extensive and sweeping.
I could not see a complete view of my place in the world at that moment because of my perspective.
It got me thinking…how much does perspective factor in to the way that I see my life? How does it affect my view of the world, and how does it influence the things that I write?
The stark contrast of what I had seen during my day and the way that this picture captured the moment was a great reminder that my view is only one view. Both what I had seen that day and this picture are valid representations of the afternoon, but maybe sometimes it’s worth considering the way that my perspective is fundamental to what I can see in any moment.
Have you ever seen a picture that challenged your perspective? In what ways have you experienced perspective shifts in your life?