As I looked down on my neighbourhood today from a high window, I was charmed by how lovely it was. The ocean an idyll of silver. The hills rich with woods and cosy houses. We live in such a beautiful place, I thought.
But when I went downstairs, outside, I found myself back again in the dreariness. The traffic, the noise and clutter and concrete. Those woods I'd seen had become a few trees clambering desperately over roofs to find some light. The water was hidden by buildings. Although I could remember that the place really was beautiful, encountering that beauty on the ground wasn't possible.
It's an old wisdom : change your perspective to gain a new appreciation of something. But it's also true that some times you have to acknowledge your actual experience. I can not always stand at a high window - and even holding the memory of that view in my heart does not change the traffic and frenzy of rooftops. It's the same when I find a beautiful dress but, upon trying it on, discover it doesn't fit well. I know the beauty exists, but I can't wear it.
I'll always remember that gorgeous view. It absolutely blesses me. But accepting that I don't live inside it - oh sure, literally I do, but not subjectively - helps me to get real about my environment and, at the same time, appreciate the view without regret.