This afternoon, a simple observation caused me to reflect upon the deeper mysteries of life.
Perhaps some background information will prove useful.
Normally I teach the night class, so when I leave the Adult Education Center at the end of the evening, the sun is already setting or completely gone. As I exit the building, I often observe the sunset or notice the passing cars. Only rarely do I ever pause to consider the building across the street, mostly because it faces away from the western sun, and thus remains partially obscured by a shadow. Before today, I would have described the building as an old, brick structure with little or no color.
These last two days I have worked the morning shift instead of the evening. At about midday yesterday, I walked outside and noticed the old building across the street as if for the first time. The colors appeared so much more vibrant than before; the bricks were actually red, not gray, and the trim was green. Who knew? In the big picture, the building lacks much distinction or special beauty, but for one fleeting moment I stood in deep appreciation of the newly observed colors.
This simple event got me to thinking.
How many years have I worked at this location without truly "seeing" the colors of the next-door building? Of course, the logical explanation is that I've never seen the place at that particular time of day or under those connections. But this makes me wonder how often we "know" something mundane or familiar only to discover some surprising characteristic hidden in plain sight. If anything, this experience deepens my willingness to consider other viewpoints and perspectives.