We had some friends visiting last week who had never been to Ireland, and we got to show them why this place is called the Emerald Isle. The beautiful postcards tell the beautiful truth. And the castles, churches, and monastic ruins dotted across the countryside add a layer of historic mystery to the impossibly green landscape. We have a castle in our own village, and the patchwork fields beyond it eventually lead down to the rocky coast. You could hardly go anywhere on this island without seeing something historic or naturally magnificent. Welcome to Ireland. Let me show you around…
Or will you show me?
When our friends visited, one of them kept pointing out the architecture of ordinary buildings like houses and shops. I would expect him to find castles interesting, but what is there to notice about a standard house, or a normal row of shops? It took me a little while, but eventually I saw what he meant. Those ordinary buildings really are interesting and different from their counterparts in other places. When he saw the symmetry, the brightly coloured doors, and the flower-filled window boxes, it helped me see them, too. It helped me remember that I used to see the same things myself, when we first arrived in this country. I’m not sure how that changed, but somewhere along the way I stopped noticing. Many of the unique beauties of this place became ordinary to me, and I started overlooking them. I was still looking at the same things, but I wasn’t really seeing them anymore.
It seems to me that one of the surest ways to go blind to the wonder of the world we live in is to see it too much. Imagine if you only ever saw one songbird, or one daffodil, or one rainbow in your whole life—wouldn’t you be overwhelmed? So why are we not overwhelmed when we’ve seen a thousand? Somehow, when we see things regularly, we see them less clearly. This is true of nature and architecture, and unfortunately it is also true of the people we love most dearly and see most often. Sometimes what we need is a friend to see for us, to remind us of what we used to see ourselves before we started going blind with all our seeing.
5 thoughts on “Slowly Going Blind”
Thanks for the reminder. Having the grandkids visit is like that, too. It brings back the feeling of wonder.
Sent from iPhone, God bless you – Kaye Jackson
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Love your conclusion. I now “get to” live with my in-laws. As challenging as it is to co live with family members, it’s a great blessing for our family. Everytime I say to people that I work from home, full-time, and I don’t have to worry about my kiddo not going to the kindergarten because my in-laws take care of her while I work, people say “you’re so fortunate”. I’m indeed. It’s easy to forget how my in-laws make my life easier when I’m focused on the daily challenges of this relationship. But above all things it’s a blessing and that’s what people first notice when I tell them about my life with in-laws. Thank you for the reminder.
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