I had the opportunity to take a week off at the end of the summer and stay at my cousin’s lake house in Western MA. After spending some time with family and loved ones, I was also able to have a few days alone at the end of my trip. I created a few rituals in those quiet days, one of which was taking the kayak out at sunset each evening to witness the close of the day.
I would paddle out to roughly the same spot each night, patiently watching the light dancing on the water – becoming softer in each moment. The bright rays eventually taking on a more subtle hue, like blending pastels on a paper with your thumb, until the sun would eventually make its descent behind the mountains. Once it was no longer in view, I would start to return back to the dock. Sunset “over,” it was time to move on. On my last night, as I was making my way back, I took a moment to peer up at the tall evergreens lining the lake. The branches at the very top were glazing with light – still fully warmed by the sun. In that moment something struck me – a simple thought, nothing incredibly profound. It was a gentle nudge from nature telling me that the sunset was not “over” – and that in fact, it never would be.
From my limited perspective and precise latitude and longitude beneath the trees – when the sun dipped behind the mountaintop, it was no longer visible to me. But it never actually “set,” and day was only beginning on the other side of the world. In that moment I began to think about perspective, and how specific, engrained, habit-forming, and at times narrow and restrictive perspective can be. Thinking too that even during a moment when my vantage point appeared dark and dim, light was still shining somewhere.
With a new season approaching, it’s the perfect time to think about perspective & change. Some changes and transitions are very clear: starting a new job or moving into a new home. Others can be much more subtle (yesterday my fiancé sat in the chair I usually sit in at the dinner table and noticed something in our kitchen he had never seen before). Are there areas in your life where you have done the same thing or thought the same way for a long time? Could a simple change in perspective be the very thing you may be looking for? As always, we don’t have to go very far to ignite change, or ponder the meaning of things – quiet your breath, open your eyes, and take a good look at what’s around you. And maybe sit in a new chair from time to time!