Looking Up

Friday afternoon I was at a stoplight, waiting for the green arrow that would give me permission to take a left into the grocery store parking lot. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed what I thought was a large bird circling low in the sky. The light changed, I pulled into the lot, parked and got out of my car. 

Standing against the car door I looked up once again, curious. The bird was still circling, and I realized it was an eagle. All I could think of was, “Wow!”

I watched enthralled as he gracefully flapped his powerful wings once or twice and then glided on the currents of air. He seemed be having a wonderful time playing with the sky.  After a few minutes he circled higher and higher, eventually disappearing into the clouds.

If felt as if he wanted out make sure I saw him, and once I did he went on his way, and I sent him prayer of gratitude.

When my focus returned to the parking lot, I realized no one else had looked up. There was grace and beauty and joy right above us, and no one noticed. I was about to ask myself, “How does that happen?” but I knew all too well how that happens.

There is the anxious rush of life, the pressures of to-do lists. There are goals and expectations sometimes driving us to distraction.

Then there are times when we become weighed down by life circumstances, by pain and grief, and it takes too much effort to lift our heads, which was what happened to me during my divorce and for a long time after. The days when I did make the effort to look up I saw nothing and stopped looking.

How do we remind ourselves to look up or find the courage to look again?

It may be to simply stay open to the possibilities of beauty and grace and joy, believing we can find them anywhere, even on a chilly day in a grocery store parking lot.


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