Ahhhh, the view from my upstairs window, granting me an eagle’s eye perspective of the daily life of my garden. From this elevated vantage point I can easily observe a neighborhood squirrel, a sunbathing lizard, a nectar thirsty hummingbird and sometimes, on a good day, a shy little bunny. One sees things differently when perspective is high above it all rather than based at ground zero.

Yesterday, from my lofty position, I noticed fragments of dead honeysuckle vine left behind by a careless (as in, could not care less) landscaper. The handiwork of the same guy responsible for breaking glass on my patio who, instead of thoughtfully sweeping it up, used his leaf blower to blow it all to kingdom come. I’m still picking up random glass shards months later. A rant for another day.

Back to the task at hand. If these left-behind trimmings were going to be removed it was going to have to be on my watch. Climbing up on a patio chair, armed with a three tined hoe, I began to remove what I could reach. At one point some other type of tool was needed to get the job done. My long handled garden pruners perhaps? Yes, perfect. About that time my neighbor came out to chat me up. I continued on my mission undeterred as he questioned my motive and methodology.

Good headway was being made as I closed in on one particularly thick strand of unsightly vine. Just then my neighbor abruptly stopped me. I was bearing down with the pruners using all my might to cut through and remove this bit. The old vine was thick and long since dead. He, from his perspective, noticed a particularly pretty tendril of vine that had coiled itself around it.

Ah, then I saw it. In a somewhat melodramatic moment my eyes were opened. My vision expanded once again to the beautiful greenery surrounding me. Because I had been laser focused on what was dead I completely failed to see the living. Delicately entwined fresh green growth clung to the dead vine.

He was right. It was pretty. And it was alive.

Pruners in hand, I wondered in a micro moment how many other signs of life have gone unnoticed while my focus was on something that no longer had life. Something to pause and think about if you care to.

Life and growth are all around us, every minute of every day. Sometimes we simply have to shift our focus. And sometimes it takes someone else’s perspective to help us see it.

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