This is a day late and I apologize.
In October of 2011, a talk was given at the LDS Church’s General Conference. (General Conference is a biannual conference that is broadcast worldwide for all members of the church to view and we hear from the leader’s of the Church.) Elder Carl B. Cook gave a talk where he shares a story about an encounter with the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, in which he was told, “Now, remember, it is better to look up.”
As a new member to the church, this portion of his talk stood out to me. At the time, I walked every where I went because I didn’t know how to drive. Yes, I was 20, and yes it was because of fear. Luckily, I lived in a small town in Eastern Oregon and it was still easy to get around on foot. I had just moved there from Los Angeles, Ca. which is a huge city with plenty to look at, and so it was quite an adjustment.
Also, in Los Angeles, it was easy to find yourself staring at your feet as you avoided eye contact with those around you.
So, I took this little bit of wisdom and started to apply it. It didn’t take long to realize how different the world is when you look up. I mean a tree viewed from a distance and at eye level is not the same when you have to look up to its top. I found that there was a lot of unseen beauty from this angle, especially when the sun breaks through the tops.
During my most recent trip to Zorinsky Lake Park, I tried to focus a bit more on what was above me. In this photo, I am looking directly up from underneath a tree growing over the path. The bottom branch was actually low enough that you’d have to crouch down a little to go under.
I’m sure for the bikers and runners, it was a bit of an annoyance, and so I made a point to stop and give this area a second look and explore a bit with what the feeling was here. As I came closer to the tree, my eyes were pulled up as the sun started to poke through the branches. From this angle it looked as if the tree could be made of feathers, soft and light. I wish the image had captured more of that, but I do love the way the light comes down and through the needles.
I was very satisfied with the final image though. In my mind I see myself lying below a tree, gazing into the sky. The weather is mild and warm, a soft cool breeze and the smell of wet dirt from the morning dew as the mid day sun begins to warm the ground. Very little sound, very little sound. Almost as if my breathing were the loudest noise ever produced.
“Remember, it is better to look up.”