The property overlooks the Forrester farm, Mount Chocorua and some of the most spectacular sunsets in the Mount Washington Valley. As I look from this perspective, I see the White Mountain National Forest heading all the way north towards Mount Washington. I even see King Pine Ski Area (where I spend the better part of my winters) begging to be noticed on the upper right of the photo.
I find myself looking for a couple of the schools that I teach in, the village of Eaton where I go to pick up my mail and meet friends for breakfast and then up to Conway to buy groceries. But the view is too far away to see the details of those places.
Below are pictures of a close up of the house and Forrest Brook that runs along the back of the property. I love the details of the close up pictures. I can also see the spots on the lawn that need some TLC and the paint chipping in certain parts of the house.
I love how the aerial view helps me put things into a larger perspective. Stepping out and away from the details and looking out over the big picture gives me a better sense of how my property fits into the larger landscape around me.
This also gives me an analogy for life.
I recently experience the culmination of what I am experiencing as years of pent up emotion coming to the surface to be expressed so it can be released. It was an up close and personal experience that involved conflict, hurtful patterns, unfortunate choices and a need for transformation.
In response to a breakdown in communication, I felt anger rising up inside of me out of nowhere. I can't remember the last time I felt such anger. I've read somewhere that anger might suggest an underlying fear. Based on my experience, I'd have to agree, but I still haven't sorted out the specifics of the fear. I reacted. I spoke in a harsh tone. I gave an ultimatum. And then I retreated. Physically. Emotionally. Inside the house looking over my limited view of my living room. Not even looking outside.
I allowed myself to feel all the feelings. Hurt, betrayed, let down, disappointed.. And more anger. The depth of my feelings surprised me, as did how long they lasted. I allowed myself to feel them fully and for as long as they stayed present in my mind and body. I set some boundaries around my time and space so I could allow myself to fully experience them. It felt important. And I stayed inside with my limited view and allowed myself time to process what had happened and how I was feeling about it.
Similar to the pictures below, I was close up. I noticed every detail. Every nook and cranny. Chipped paint, that imperfect spot on the otherwise beautiful lawn, the way the light and the sky reflected on the water, the many different shades of green, all the windows and doors leading inside and outside. And the dirt and dusty that clouded my vision.
In time, I allowed myself to go beyond the dust and dirt and go inside and go deeper and get a broader perspective. The feelings merged with the experiences that led up to the moment and I began to sift through it all. I stepped back and saw the bigger picture. And as I stepped back even more, I got a broader perspective. Just like the aerial view.
Now, as I look from the aerial view, I get a look at how it is all connected. I can no longer see the places where the imperfections lie. I no longer feel the triggers. Instead I see a beautiful interwoven tapestry. A vast perspective of the bigger picture and the beauty and perfection of it all. My emotions have shifted from anger, hurt and disappointment to calm acceptance, compassion and appreciation for the ability to step back and take in the big picture and put it all into some sort of perspective in the larger Universal order of things and frame it with gratitude and forgiveness.
There is a sense of sadness that comes along with stepping back and taking in this new perspective. A sense of distance and disconnect. There is no going back. Things will never again be what they were now that I see them from this new perspective. But in that space, there is room for expansion and growth and even wider perspectives.
And so, the question that begs to be asked is this, "What if it's all perfect just the way it is?" The paint chips, the dirty windows, that bare spot in the lawn, the emotions, the anger, the personalities, the judgment, the boundaries, the opportunity to reflect on the light and the sky as it dances on water, the choice to step back and reflect on the bigger picture and the more foundational feelings of anger and disappointment and fear as well as unconditional love, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness.
I've discovered that there is value in being immersed in the close up view and feeling the full emotions of that experience ... AND there is value in taking a step back and further back and further back again; making a choice to see things from the bigger picture aerial view to see how it's all connected. To get a glimpse of the beautiful tapestry that is being woven to connect us across time and space and perspective that we simply can't see when we're up close and in the middle of it all.
The anger still surges once in awhile. The hurt still hurts every so often. And fear sometimes pops up in places that surprise me. But when I'm able to step back and see it from a larger perspective, it is, indeed, perfect just the way it is. And if I practice acceptance and gratitude and allow things to unfold in their own time, for the greater good of all, I get to behold the tapestry that is being woven in and around all of us and connecting us to our growth, our learning and some sense of a power that goes way beyond us.