A Bird’s Eye View
As we ate our pizza on the rooftop overlooking the street below, I had a sudden and distinct “Aha moment” this past weekend. I’m not sure why I haven’t really thought about it before, but definitely in that moment I realized how much I truly love to be up high. To have a bird’s eye view of all that is going on beneath me. And to feel that much closer to the heavens; the stars, the moon and the clouds.
As I gave this some thought in preparation for today’s post, several situations from my past popped into my mind that should probably have made me realize this love of heights long ago. Last summer, for example, my husband and I were able to realize my lifetime dream of traveling to England and Wales. One of my very favorite moments was when we were at the peak of the cycle on the London Eye. Riding on that Ferris Wheel in a car surrounded by glass and gazing as far as the eye could see was almost overwhelming to me. When the time came for the ride to be over I felt like a disappointed child.
A few years ago we had a family reunion at a local campground. One of the opportunities presented was to zip line through the forest. Gliding along above the canopy of trees was one of the most freeing feelings that I have ever had, and I vowed to do a longer one someday. A year before that, we went to the Biltmore Estates for a tour of the gardens and mansion. The one tour that intrigued me most of all was the rooftop tour, and true to expectation it was fantastic. We climbed up tiny ladders and took secret back elevators up to various rooftops and were able to climb out and view the grounds from above.
The one exception to this rule is flying in an airplane. It’s not the height that bothers me – if I get a window seat I enjoy the view the entire time. It must be the fear that there will be some mechanical failure or unexpected wind shear. Whatever the reason, I am always fearful when I am flying and am grateful to once again touch the ground.
As much as I enjoy being way up high, admittedly I hate coming back down. Driving home through the mountains yesterday I was soaking up the scenery and snapping away with my camera. As we headed down the steep incline, however, I realized how much I dislike the descent. Being on a mountaintop is an incredible experience, but coming back down to earth is less than wonderful.
This brings me to my one last realization – that life’s adventures can be exactly the same way. Along the way we have some mountaintop experiences; the birth of a child, new love, the completion of a goal. But with those “highs” often come the “lows.” Sometimes it’s difficult to come back to reality when we have reached such emotional heights. The important thing is that we learn to stay grounded, and to enjoy even the ordinary and unexciting events in life. If we can learn to be thankful for the most mundane days and appreciate the beauty in our daily surroundings, the mountaintop experiences become that much sweeter.