When I go to work, I take a 3-minute longer route that threads me along the Pacific for about a mile. It’s an intentional extension of my commute so that I have a moment of beauty and rest. Each time I cruise Sunset Cliffs, going to and from work, the ocean is different. Lately, there’s been high waves, their white tops frazzled by the wind like snow streams being blown off the Eastern Sierra.
My schedule has been crammed. The Nap Bishop, Trisha Hersey, says to treat our planners as sacred texts, and I have not. My mind is frazzled, bits of my attention blown out so that I am not present.
I realized on Wednesday after my normal commute that during my drive along the ocean, I hadn’t looked at the Pacific once. My eyes straight ahead, I was so embroiled in my own busyness that see the beauty that was spread out right next to me. I only needed to turn my gaze slightly. It was waiting.
Henri Nouwen writes that all it takes is for us “to move from the ‘many things’ to the ‘one necessary thing'” (Making All Things New). This isn’t necessarily a change in “our many-faceted world” but a heart orientation that aligns with that one thing. It’s a centering that unfreezes your body, allows you to turn your head towards the beauty laid out before us.
At present, your business is to see.– C.S. Lewis