Last weekend I drove over to Tampa to meet up with my friend, and professional joie de vivre instigator, Tonya Leigh, for a quick dinner rendezvous while she was briefly in town.
I had the roof of my car open,
mind wandering, music blaring
as I sped my way across I-4 relishing the nip of the deliciously almost chilly autumn air.
Suddenly, I was jarred back into alert presence as my brain registered the sight before me.
I was driving straight into it.
The most staggeringly spectacular sunset I have ever seen.
piercing billowing, liquid-silver edged clouds
backed by hues of vibrant peach, orange, purple, grey and blue.
I was so overcome by it that I literally shouted out loud to myself:
“Wow! Ohmygosh! WOW!
That is so incredibly amazing!!!!
[Yeah, I know. I'm a dork.]
But I was seriously enthralled by it.
It was one of those portals-to-God kinds of sunsets.
All that was missing was the hallelujah angel choir.
As I continued to marvel, I pulled my sunglasses down to get a better look at it,
and … [poof] … the sunset was gone.
Wait? … Wha??? … … WTH?!!!
[sunglasses up] … magical sunset there.
[sunglasses down] … magical sunset gone.
As it began to dawn on me what had occurred,
I burst out laughing so hard I probably should have pulled the car over.
There was no otherworldly phenomenon of a sunset!
It was only the colored lenses of my sunglasses that made it so.
While Florida has no shortage of beautiful evening skies, this really wasn’t one of them.
It was rather bland.
Washed out blue sky. Faint yellow sunlight.
No peach. No liquid silver. No angelic choir.
In comparison, entirely unremarkable.
I couldn’t stop laughing…
thinking about how often we walk through the world like this.
Letting our own lenses of perspective dramatically color all that we see.
Gazing through our own filters of chosen meaning,
so certain they accurately detect the value of a thing.
But I wasn’t sure which angle to take on the situation:
1. Is there value in transforming something “ordinary” into something “extraordinary” by filtering the reality (lens) through which people perceive it?
Isn’t this what a chef does when transforming plain chicken with a delectable sauce or what a photographer does when artistically honing an image in Photoshop?
2. By enhancing/modifying do we numb ourselves out from appreciating the real value of something simply as it is?
Like the subtly beautiful woman who is somehow harder to visually appreciate once her “hot girl” make-up comes off, or the potentially charming just-the-two-of-us dinner at home that seems like a let down compared to the fancy night out on the town that got called off.
In the case of my sunset: I put my sunglasses on and kept driving … and smiling.
But now I’m curious to know:
How do YOU chose to see things?
Post a message below and share how you do/don’t apply colored lenses in life
and how that has helped or held you back?