I walked that morning in the garden I once walked so frequently in, my eyes glancing disapprovingly at the dirt on my shoes, realizing they needed to be cleaned. I saw spots where people had spat as they’d walked and shuddered in disgust and revulsion. A little farther I saw the gardener had left his watering pipe on the walking track, waiting for someone to trip and fall, and had even left a wet patch which I could have easily slipped on.

I cursed the man who had spat, the gardener for being so careless and tried to hide the dirt on my shoes from prying eyes I was sure were looking at them, till a bird on a treetop chirped just above me.

I looked up, and in so doing, met the puzzled stares of the trees, the hills in the distance and the gloriously blue sky.

I stopped in my tracks, and stared upwards. How, I wondered had I missed all this beauty? I heard the lovely sounds of birds and felt the stillness in the air, as green and blue, brown and yellow intermingled with all other colours to make tapestries of sheer delight. A divine artist had painted the most beautiful painting, had spread it just above me, while I’d been staring at my shoes and the pipe the gardener had left.

‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.’ says the psalmist in the holy scriptures, and the whole idea there is to look up, to take our eyes away from the dirt and common below to the magnificence above!

The trees smiled as they saw my gaze, the hills seemed to tell me, that strength lay in their invincibility, and stillness, and the blue skies gave me hope, an eagerness to face the day and make it mine.

How lost we are in our downward looks. It’s like the driver of a car who only looks at the car in front, for him there is no beauty in the unfolding of a picturesque road ahead. He sees only the obstruction of the car in front.

Lift up your eyes, look beyond the immediate, see days of hope stretching on ahead; waiting for you to traverse them.

I seemed to hear the sound of a man spitting, I saw the gardener still leaving his pipe on the road, but I did not stop to scowl or rebuke, my eyes were lifted up, in joy and calm at the beauty above..!

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