Do you ever get the feeling we spend too much of life ignoring the beauty around us?
Today I’m attending a training. I’m in Central Phoenix, a place I rarely attend and certainly wouldn’t call beautiful on normal days. This is a place where your GPS will calculate that you still have 10 minutes remaining on your journey even though it also tells you that you are 1 mile away. A place so full of people and cars it literally smells like exhaust when you take a deep breath. Yet today I am on the sixteenth floor of a building with a full wall of windows. The table I have chosen is facing one of those windows and I’m completely distracted by the view. I’m fully appreciating the teacher in middle school who insisted I learn to type without looking at the keys so I can share this thought with you whilst enjoying the scenery.
What I can’t figure out is why I’m the only one who’s noticed. There are (hold on while I pause to look around) about 20 people in here right now. Two of them are the trainers, so I can assume they see this view often. But the rest? The rest are presumably teachers, like me, who spend entirely too much time sitting inside the walls of a school with only small windows to the outside world. How are they not appreciating the small grassy area loaded with trees just to the left of all this craziness? The mountains at the edge of the valley, with the white clouds just kissing the tops? The planes taking off and landing just along the horizon, so small they look fake? The twinkling of the rising sun over the steel that litters our capital city, looking like tiny twinkling lights on a tree? Even the building directly next to us…the one so close I can almost see the people inside there also not enjoying the view…that building has patios wrapping around it on every single floor and has gorgeous pink flowered potting plants and adorable tables all around.
As we draw closer to the training start time, people are starting to notice. But it’s not for the reason I would like. Instead of basking in the beauty that is the landscape, they’re complaining about the sun coming into their eyes. One woman saunters to the windows and twists the blinds closed. I watch as the trainer approaches her and proceeds to help her completely block of the view.
I’m left wondering, what was the purpose of the windows? We have effectively made it the same environment here as we would experience in our own classrooms with minimal access to the outside world.
I’m not blaming anyone, or judging anyone. In fact, I probably focused better once they were closed and I stopped watching the scenery. Instead, I’m merely asking…do we miss the beauty of the world around us?