The View from Here

Have you ever yearned to be somewhere else… to see something other than the everyday ordinary? “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is a saying with more truth in it than I care to acknowledge.

With our lake-to-lake and through-the-mountains travels concluded, I could be mourning the lack of all the beautiful scenery now that  we’re settled into our daughter’s home, “baby”sitting our two granddaughters. I could be immersed in catching up with a holiday backlog of laundry, making lunchtime grilled cheese sandwiches and playing paper dolls while regretting the end of lazy vacation days.

It’s easy to get sucked into a mundane mentality — to see the dust and dirty dishes and wish for something more… more what? More interesting, attractive, stimulating? When I let such thoughts overtake, I miss the fragments of everyday joy that encapsulate the ordinary.

Yesterday, while saying goodnight to the precious youngsters, I happened to glance out the window and discovered this:

If I hadn’t lifted my eyes, I would have missed something just as spectacular as anything I saw on our trip through southern BC. And it was right there, waiting to be recognized outside the window through which I normally only “see” the neighbours’ homes, passing cars, light standards and the occasional person walking a dog.

As an aspiring author, I often don’t see beyond the daily writing and my wish to have my novels published. I don’t accept the pleasure of the endeavour as being enough.

As a wife, I frequently fail to acknowledge the comfort, companionship and assistance of a very thoughtful husband because he’s always here and I expect him to be.

As a woman… as a mother… as a member of my church, community and world, I fail to experience all that life is, because I fail to look and truly see.

Ann Voskamp challenges me to find joy in ordinary moments and to be thankful for them. It’s a challenge I accept and also pass along to you. This weekend a new month begins — a fresh start, not only for grandchildren returning to school, but for us leaving vacations behind and taking up the regular routines once again. It’s an opportunity to revamp my attitude and rearrange my priorities. I’m going to print out Ann’s 100 Days Calendar and use it not only as she suggests, but also to record at least one special joy discovered in the ordinary of each day.

Acknowledging the view from here will encourage me to use thankfulness to overpower lingering discontent.

Let’s get a head start on September. What one everyday joy can you find today for which to be thankful?


“Open my eyes so I can see 
      what you show me of your miracle-wonders.”

Psalm 119:18 (The Message)


“Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth you have for me…”

Clara H. Scott
(Click composer’s name to listen to the hymn)

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

8 thoughts on “The View from Here

  1. I so believe in an attitude of gratitude. Today I am thankful to be working with such amazing people at The Employment Service Centre. Lucky you to be spending time with your precious grandchildren. Enjoy. XO

  2. For a few years now I’ve been challenging myself to notice the moment as it is, not as it used to be or might be in the future. When I started this quest I thought it would be so easy. It’s a continuing struggle to stay in the moment and experience life as it is. Kudos to you, Carol, for doing just that.

  3. @Darlene – I like that phrase, “attitude of gratitude”. It reminds me of another rhyming one, “thanksgiving should translate into thanksliving.” I’m sure that appreciating associates in the workplace makes your workday more pleasant. 🙂

    @Sharon – The sunset itself was amazing! And to think I almost missed it.

    @Joylene – I don’t know that I could say I’ve learned to ‘stay in the moment’ very well, but I’m trying to take a second look at ordinary things and happenings around me and to appreciate their positive aspects.

  4. Carol, I have lost myself in many sunsets, late for supper, no pull of the day to remind me there is anything but sky and sun to paint a different picture for me every night. The idea of being grateful for those small wonders is a wonderful way to remember … in the mundane, every day times of our life, we can find the most rewarding gifts from Nature. I believe that is what gives a writer the strength to continue and what makes each sunrise and sunset a precious gift 🙂 Thanks so much for these lovely thoughts !

  5. What a great idea! I’m starting early, I enjoy you… inspire me my friend. You are a gifted writer and photographer! And I consider it an honor to call you friend.

  6. @Florence – Yes, such rare sunset and sunrise beauty is mesmerizing. I’m finding a lot of exquisite things in nature, especially when I look at something ordinary through my camera’s close-up lens!

    @Katt – Thank you for your sweet words. You always bless me with your kindness!

    @Susan – Too often society encourages us to think that bigger is better, but I agree, it’s often the small things that are the most precious.

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