I happened to capture this photo at sunset a few days ago while waiting at a traffic light. Overhead, a deep, cobalt sky faded to pale blue in the west, where a thin layer of almandine clouds lined the horizon like strands of carded wool unfurling. Just as my car rolled to a stop, a flight of birds appeared before me. Black against the light of the late-day sun, they were a murmuration, an undulation of ethereal loveliness. I grabbed my camera, aimed, and pressed the shutter. Click. The light changed to green, and I drove away.
Looking back at this photo now, I realize it represents more to me than just a fleeting moment of wild beauty. It also represents the way I look at my life.
This red stoplight can be likened to the negatives, the things that – if I let them – can bring me to a screeching halt. And they are many. Anxiousness. Sorrow. Illness. Insecurity. Indecision. Worry. Stress. Fear. So much can happen, so much has happened, that is beyond my control. While this is a fact both obvious and irrefutable, I know there is much in my life that can be controlled. And a good deal of it boils down to a simple thing. Perspective.
As I have weathered the vicissitudes of the life I’ve been given, I have come to realize that choosing my perspective is everything, and that each day when I wake, the choice is mine. I can wallow in grief, walk the endless figure eight of worry, and exaggerate my fears until these negatives stop me cold and become roadblocks to my happiness. Or, I can look up and beyond to the greater vista.
Like the birds that take flight across the limitlessness of the sky, my soul is free, my spirit is indomitable, and my possibilities are endless. No red stoplights, no roadblocks for me. My choice, every day, is to keep looking up.