Monday, April 2, 2012

Looking Up



Hiking the beautiful slopes
of Tahquitz Canyon over
spring break with some friends,
we found that the descent took
greater concentration than
the ascent.

Step,
down
step,
down
step,
down.


All of our attention was 
focused
on simply getting down the
hill without slipping and 
risking injury.


After gingerly picking our way
towards the bottom, one of 
our friends said, 
Look up.


While we'd been engrossed 
in our journey down the canyon,
a magnificent panorama
had risen behind us.

A true metaphor 
for 
life.


Living in an increasingly
multi-tasking society that
demands responses to
e-mail, voice mail and
texts five minutes ago,
we often forget to look up
and see the view ~ 
the big picture.


I've discovered that one of 
the many blessings of middle 
age is a greater focus
between the stepping stones
and the vista......


Chopping the veggies for
dinner, answering the phone,
tackling bills or laundry, racing
kids to practices or lessons,
taking the dog out ~ all the
little steps in the canyon
of my days.


Then, looking around the
dinner table at the precious
faces that grace its chairs, or
taking in a breathtaking sunset,
or enjoying the laughter of
a night out with good friends.

The view.


Looking up.  Breathing. 
 Taking it all in.


Do you ever stop and peruse
your surroundings, or are you 
head down, 
all concentration on the steps
that take you through 
your day?


My two week hiatus from the
computer taught me this:  you've
got to look up, or some 
marvelous things will pass 
you right by.

{My favorite view}
Thanks for taking this journey
with me ~ step by step, but
with a good long look at where
we've been and what's ahead.

xx
Suzanne

PS:  I am {reluctantly} putting the
kids back on the bus this morning
and then heading to the hospital
with my hubby, who is having
hand surgery.  I am SO looking
forward to catching up with you
and pressing my keyboard into
more action, soon!

49 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Going downhill is one of the reasons I rarely hike very high anymore, makes me so nervous.
I know exactly what you mean about this middle age and greater focus on the in between, the moments. I'm loving it and embracing it.
I read something the other day about a woman who called her young son in to see the gorgeous sunset and he yelled that he'd be there in a minute and she sighed because she knew in a minute the sunset would be gone. Paying attention, it has so many rewards.
Hope your husband's surgery goes well!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I bet you had the BEST TIME! I am NOW on spring break here, enjoying every moment I have to LOOK UP. The course of my work day is often so involved looking INTO the lives of others, that once in a while, a teacher needs to refocus. I have resigned from my job because I have found that I cannot bear the intensity any longer. I will be a substitute next September...I am looking up however, at the other possibilities in my life. It is risky, and it may seem like a foolish path to take. But I can't take it anymore. I am middle age too, and no job is worth your health.

You are so blessed to be able to stay home. I don't know how some people can do it, but as long as you can, keep looking up and give us dear Suzanne, your wonderful perspective on life...it is a joy to read your thoughts! Anita

Mary Timmers said...

What a good lesson, and what a beautiful visual for learning it. Thanks for sharing it with us! Blessings too, to you and your husband today.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Welcome home - looks like a wonderful trip! I'm in your time zone now, and visited my beloved Target yesterday (my kryptonite). Off for American burgers and Dairy Queen today - I love this country! Not a lovely walk in a canyon, but a good time nonetheless :) Maybe I'll sneak in a trip to Denny's for biscuits and gravy?!

NanaDiana said...

Isn't that the truth? We sometimes forget to enjoy the moment right in front of us because we are so focused on the next thing that is going to happen

Good luck with your hubby's surgery today-I hope it all goes well. Saying a prayer for him here...and GOOD TO SEE YOU BACK! xo Diana

Elizabeth said...

Welcome back!

I have missed you and your posts. What a wonderful few weeks you have had with your family and fiends, exactly what life is about.

Thank ou for sharing your uplifting message to look up! I think we are forge that from time to time.

Have a great week, prayers for your husbands surgery and recovery.

Elizabeth

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Wonderful reminder, Suzanne. You are so right, we can get so lost in worrying about the future that we don't appreciate and give thanks for the beauty of today.
Happy to see you back and sending all good wishes for your husband's hand surgery. XO

Julie said...

Amen....You have said it all. And I am saying a prayer for your dear hubby. May it all go well, and have a successful ending! Hugs to you Suzanne!!!! :-) xoxoxo

Jemsmom said...

I can completely identify in so many ways, as usual!!! I will say though that the day Jemma was born, I made a vow that we would never say, "I can't wait for...". I feel that has made us always appreciate the moment we are in instead of waiting for the next step. Those "looking up" moments are so so special and it is always nice to have such a lovely reminder to do it!

We are in MN right now and found a house! We will be moving into it in the end of May! We hit Ikea yesterday and are off to the Mall of America today! The sun finally came out. Hallelujah!

I hope you are well and to hear from you soon!

Mary said...

Your post was just what I needed this morning. Faced with a mountain of choices on what to do first, you beautifully reminded me of the "why" of what we do daily.

Said a prayer for your husband and his hand surgery.

Low Tide High Style said...

Welcome back! We do need to take the time to look up, it's so very important. I hope your husband's surgery goes well and that he has a quick recovery!

Kat

Sylvia said...

Oh, yes! I can definitely tell I have missed your writing and life's perspective. I am happy for you and wish you never stop discovering new and marvelous things in your life. Your photos shed light on your thoughts and evoke emotions.
Blessings to you and your husband today !

vignette design said...

Oh Suzanne, thank you for this lovely post. You are so right and I am trying to do the same thing: look up.
Good luck to your husband this morning. Thinking of you both....
It's a beautiful day, I'm going out to play!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

SO nice to see you back, Suzanne! I've missed reading your thought-provoking posts! It sounds like you had a wonderful, restorative trip...I try very hard to take in the view, but do get caught up in that looking down stuff sometimes. Hope your hubby's surgery is over and done and very successful! Hope to see you soon!

michele said...

my head is up. up. up. maybe in the clouds too often. that's where poets hang out.

michele

Morning T said...

Gorgeous post Suzanne, we missed you but SO understand the break! Like many, I struggle with keeping my head up and my focus on what's in front of me, ugh. ;)

Hope hubby's surgery goes well today!
Hugs~
T

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Welcome back Suzanne! You had a wonderful and heart refreshing adventure.

I love Tahquitz Canyon. Do you believe I hiked it when I was 7 month pregnant? I barely believe it.

Sending happy spring thoughts,

Sharon

Joanna said...

Wow, what a view! Beautiful post, stunning photos and a gentle reminder on what is important.

Thank you, Suzanne.

ps I hope all goes well with your husband's op and I wish him a speedy recovery.
pps Your Card Keyper gets a positive comment from a stranger everyday!

A Vintage Chic said...

What a beautiful trip you had, Suzanne! And what a wonderful lesson learned...I've been feeling the same way, lately...technology has been taking over my life too much. Trying to slow it down a little...feels SO much better that way!

Time with family is so much more important than anything else, and I'm really trying to focus on that more than anything else right now...and just a little blogging thrown in!

Wishing you a beautiful, peaceful day, dear friend...

Julie

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

You have such a gift for seeing the beautiful details in life Suzanne..........and then reminding us so beautifully. Hope all goes well with your husband's surgery. XO

Beth said...

Hi Suzanne, working part time has given me a great reminder that every now and again I can stop and look up. I appreciate the precious times I get to spend with my family.
On a recent trip to Sydney I taught my 9 year old to look up when we were touring the city. Above the same same shop frontages we saw the most beautiful architecture and interesting sights. I was so proud when we came home and her Dad asked her what she did and she answered " I learnt to look up in the city!"
Hope all goes well with hubby's hand surgery.
x

Debby said...

Beautiful pictures. Sweet faces. Good luck with the surgery tomorrow. I had hand surgery recently as well.

Tricia said...

I'm so glad you're back, Suzanne. I missed you! Oh my goodness, it looks like you went someplace wonderful...nice and summery. What beautiful photos!

I love your thoughts today. My sister and I talk about this sort of thing all the time...how people just seem to go through the motions, never really living their life.

I hope your husband's surgery goes well.
xo

Lisa Scibilia said...

It sounds like you had a heavenly couple of weeks with your kiddos. Hoping your husband's surgery goes well in the a.m. - I'll keep you in my prayers.

Beatnheart said...

Beautiful as usual...love the song.

Felicity said...

As ever fabulous wisdom embellished with glorious images.

The truth in this is poignant for me, and I know Captain V will be nodding vigorously when I share it with him because he's always advocating that we should all lift our eyes to the sunrise.

Sending best wishes for a speedy recovery and excellent result for your hubby's hand [almost typoed that as huggy's] and sending you an extra big hug from afar.

xx

The enchanted home said...

This was AMAZING! I am bookmarking this for future inspiration. I am often looking down and so busy doing what needs to get done as so many of us are. Wishing your husband good luck with his surgery. Fanastic message here Suzanne to look up and around......want to scream it from the mountaintops!

Jane said...

Welcome back, Sweetheart. I have really missed you serene yet searching posts and this one didn't disappoint. I'm delighted you had such a fabulous break. J x

Cindy said...

Beautiful pictures and an important message! Thanks for the reminder to look up and enjoy the view!
I am glad you had a great time and welcome back!

Alicia said...

beautiful view. what a great break! you always have the most insightful views. xo, a

SuzyMcQ said...

Good Morning, Suzanne
Sending good thoughts to your husband for a successful surgery.

The images of your respite are wonderful, and, as usual, you give us all some gems of wisdom to ponder. Your children are beautiful.

As I read I had to chuckle. There are too many times as I work in the garden when I look up and see a lovely bloom practically next to my nose, or at least within a foot or so, that I would have missed had I not stopped for that fleeting moment. The beauty and wonder in our lives is certainly always surrounding us and especially as multitasking women, we have to often force ourselves to stop and pause and to literally and figuratively smell the roses.

Emily Maxson said...

This is very inspiring Suzanne and a wonderful reminder! Thank you for the beautiful words and amazing pictures. I pray all goes/went well with your husband's hand surgery.

xo, Emily

Shelly W. said...

So, so, so true! Just this morning two things happened to confirm what you've written. I think Someone is trying to get my attention! First, my 8th grade daughter, over breakfast, said, "Mom, can I ask you something?" What resulted was one of the most significant conversations we've had in weeks. I even got to pray with her about this problem she's having. And second, while walking my dog, I noticed a goldfinch just sitting on a ledge. I would normally not have noticed, but I decided to slow down on my walk this morning and God graced me with that sweet little bird. (Oh my gosh, I sound like an old lady!)

Anyway, what a profound post. I think you've sparked a post in me! :)

Leslie said...

Wonderful message here along with amazing photos! Wishing your husband well today, and for a speedy recovery.

leslie

One bolt short of a toolbox said...

So beautiful! I just came across your blog, love it! you def have a new follower!

door251.com

traci said...

thanks for taking me along with you on your journey. gorgeous images. glad you enjoyed your time away. my best to your husband.

Deborah said...

I can see why they are your favourite view!!
Beautiful post Suzanne with many truths.
Easter Blessings friend xo

Deborah xoxoxo

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

What a fabulous trip. Good for you guys! I've been away as well, but on a buying trip. Still it's good to get away. I hope all goes well with your husband's surgery. XO, Mona

Stitchfork said...

I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking of going downhill while reading your post! That's what I like so much about having a camera in hand - looking up more. Hope your husband is recouping and ready to do handstands soon!
Happy Easter Suzanne!
xo Cathy

Miss Gracie's House said...

Inspiring! I love your outlook...Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Rene

Eddie Ross said...

Inspirational as always, dear Suzanne. Glad you had a nice time away. Hope your husband's surgery went well and hope you have an amazing Easter with your family.
xo E + J

Ivy Clad said...

Hi Suzanne!

What a beautiful thought on the approach of this wonderful weekend! I will practice looking up during my day tomorrow. (I am trying to enjoy the journey of having a 2yo with high spirits and a super-strong will.) And from where I sit right now, looking up seems like the best plan!

Happy Easter!
Keri

Palomasea said...

Another beautiful, inspirational post, dear Suzanne. What gorgeous photos...and I am so glad you had such a wonderful vacation! (on many levels, it seems):)
The "big picture" is a blessing to see.
Hope all is well with the surgery..
Thank you for this glorious post!
A lovely Easter to you, dear neighbor!
xoxo,
- Irina

Susan T said...

As always your unique take on life hits a button. So very true. Have a wonderful Easter Suzanne, just drinking in your favourite view, and enjoying life to the full.

I hope your husband's hand surgery was successful, and that you get to enjoy Easter together as a family. There is nothing to beat it is there.xx

Elizabeth said...

Happy Easter to you and your! I hope that you will be surrounded by family and continuing your vacation.

Enjoy, elizabeth

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I have a tendency to look down ... but love the view when I remember to enjoy it.

Welcome back.

Praying for a full recovery for your husband.

Tiffini Kilgore said...

it MUST be middle age
because I find myself more often looking up and around and a lot less
down...
and yes..I AM enjoying the view
very much!
so happy you got to enjoy a break and your family:)
talk soon
xoxo

Palomasea said...

Such kind words you left for me today, dear friend!
You are certainly an inspiration in the way you live your life, Suzanne...
Thank you!
A blessed Easter!
xoxo,
- Irina

Teacup Moments said...

Suzanne, you never miss anything. You always manage to find some wisdom in things most people will miss. I am always looking down, hunkered down to my tasks, but yes, I agree, looking up, albeit rarely, rewards me with the most magnificent views. Hope you're husband's better. Happy Easter!