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I Can See Clearly Now...

Once in a while, it is not enough to just appreciate one of the Divine's, majestic creations... it is allowing yourself to look from a difference perspective. In other words, it's not What you are looking at,... be it an object, or situation, is How you are looking at it.

For instance, you drive into the forest and spot a beautiful carpet of red leaves under a canopy of trees and shrubs, stopping to admire the harmonious blend of colors that Fall has gifted you. Then, if you change your view from total picture to individual parts, the deer resting in those leaves suddenly pops out at you!

This was the experience I had and was able to capture in these photos. It was such a shock when I realized it was a live deer calmly resting in the beautiful leaves, and not the rock I had originally assumed it to be. I ended up sitting and admiring this scene for a full ten minutes until the poor deer, no doubt intimidated by my presence, finally stood up and calmly walked into the woods.

Another recent reminder I had in looking at details came this Summer, as I was completing a routine inspection of my growing squashes. I just happen to kneel down to pick up some fallen leaves, when I looked again at the squash, now from a different angle, only to see a praying mantis, hanging casually from the bottom of the squash.

It had been in plain view before, if you look at the first photo, but I was focusing on the squash stem and checking for blemishes. This not-so-small mantis( easily 5" long!) just blended in to the environment, which was its intention, of course. I extended my gratitude to this awesome insect, as they eat the harmful bugs that can ruin any garden. I let it be, pretending I didn't see it so I didn't disturb it further.

Flowers in a field make a beautiful scene as well, the contrasting white of these daisies against the green of grass and leaves, seems simple enough. Now, look at an individual flower within that multitude. Sitting all by its lonesome self, you may see a bigger picture. That single flower carries God's beauty and love, woven into the symmetry of its petals, surrounding the pollen laden center, which is perfectly positioned for the wind and insects to complete pollination,... allowing life to continue its cycle. Even its scent is designed for the correct creature to be attracted to do the work of spreading the flowers genetic material around; all a wondrous combination of circumstances for that particular area and time.

Now, compare it to the daisy right next to it,...same species, seeming to be exactly the same overall,... yet not. That's because each flower has grown in its specific space, overcoming different obstacles, possibly in the form of rocks to push past, strong winds that bent it, or drought, or lack of sun, which affected its individual growth. Maybe its neighbor four inches away didn't have these same experiences to shape it. Yet, despite the struggles, it survived and now thrives. This one daisy now opens its petals to give thanks to the Creator for the gift of life, completing its purpose, and sharing in the continuation of life with the rest of its fellow daisies. It doesn't matter that there are significant differences between the two flowers, perhaps within the number of petals, size of leaves, or a slightly skewed stem raising the flower up toward the Sun. They are a field of daisies when you look at the wholeness they represent.

"Be like the flower, turn your faces toward the Sun." Kahlil Gibran

Any of this starting to sound a little familiar? As humans, we may not wish to be compared to a mere flower, no matter what miracles it may represent. We often feel we are above other aspects of Nature, better than the trees, the bees and the animals that share this Earth with us. We have forgotten the Divine hand that is involved in the complexity of this World we live in. A cosmic dance, if you will, that is based on interdependence not just with Nature, but with each other.

Yes, ..We are all individuals,..yet we are traveling companions through this cosmic journey of life.

So,'s a question,...

Have you thought about your socks lately?

Your socks, whether natural, or synthetic fibers, had their own long journey to your feet. Let's pick cotton socks as our example of how entangled each individual is within this 'cosmic dance' as I called it.

Cotton is grown around the World, and we will say your cotton socks started in India. A cotton farmer in India put huge amounts of energy into growing this crop, then harvesting it,...we'll say 5 people where involved and symbolized by these asterisks (*****).

This cotton is now washed and processed by more people(**) then shipped(*) to a textile mill to make yarn, (*). The yarn is shipped (*) to a clothing manufacturer who hires people to design and create the socks(**). Now the socks need to be packaged, labeled and shipped to a warehouse(***). From there a buyer(*) has them shipped to a store(*) in the USA, where you buy the from a salesperson(*). A long journey from the cotton fields of India indeed, with a minimum of 18 other humans somehow involved in your comfy, cotton socks. The reality is, that the total number is in the hundreds of people somehow involved.

Send a 'Thank you!' now, from your independent heart, to those people you will never meet in person, yet they all have affected your life so positively.

Gratitude. This is the real moral to contemplate in this convoluted story of deer, daisies and socks.

It's about being grateful for the big and small gifts of Nature, due to the ability to look beyond the obvious. I am grateful for my incredible life, with all the crazy life experiences . Grateful for all those other people, known and unknown that have contributed to those experiences,...good and not-so-good. Because, when I changed my point of view, I eventually saw the lessons those moments offered. They offered me a chance to improve upon myself, to become wiser and know that in turn, I can hopefully share this wisdom.

My husband and I have a saying we often share, generally as the day winds down. We heave a big sigh, holding hands and kicking our feet up on the couch to relax before bed:

"Gooder and gooder!", we say to each other.

I give total credit to my spouse for this phrase, who in turn, heard it from a Mexican gardener he worked with. This older gentleman approached life with a smile each day, my husband noted. Never mind the grammatical barriers that pop up in your mind,...try it out for yourself! You can't help but smile! And if you can't manage a grin, ...well that's a whole other choice in perspective, isn't it? Shouldn't life be getting "Gooder and gooder"?

If not, it may be time to look at things differently.

Look around where you are, at this very moment. Look for any source of light,...a window, a lamp,...the Sun. Look into the shadows for a moment,...the dull, flat and featureless dark. Then look towards the light. What does the light reflect upon and what are the details revealed as you really look? Sharpened images come out of shadows, a sparkle, or reflection that shimmers,...maybe its just dust motes swirling in the air which the light catches,...isn't that wondrous? How amazing that light, a source of energy, can make something look different, even for a moment? By changing your perspective, be aware that you, and all people, are an incredible source of energy in this World,...just look at your socks! What are you doing with this power to create? We all have a purpose that lets us shine, like the Sun.

Find the gratitude, the beauty and willingness to acknowledge you are never really alone, or without the gifts of the Divine Creator. You are an individual, yes like a flower in a field, and there is no one else like you,...ever again! The experiences that shaped you made you an exclusive, one-time only, amazing person, with gifts and a purpose to add into this Cosmos, this field of Oneness that connects us all to each other, and to Source.

Just open your eyes and your heart, you can see clearly now. It's time to enjoy the journey!

Best Wishes in Health!

Karen A. Shupp

Physical Therapist, Biologist and Modern Day Medicine Woman

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Feb 11, 2023


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