The vibrant autumn colors are fading in NY state, yet there is still plenty of Nature to delight the eye. Branches are becoming bare instead of covered with and obscured by leaves, so I can see the tracery of even the small twigs which are hidden all summer. It feels like I’m looking at the trees’ skeletal system, the bare bones of their structure. Who’s to say this is less appealling to the eye than vibrant lush green?
As I look out my front window every day, I’m seeing the bright reds and oranges become increasingly dull. Yet I’m delighted, over and over again, at how I can notice subtle differences in hues, a brownish gold next to a slightly more yellow one. Could my acuity for colors be getting sharper? I sure hope so!
Yesterday I took a familiar drive of about an hour along a suburban route of winding streets with a lot of trees and bushes. In the past I remember this drive feeling a bit hazardous, as if I was completely surrounded by shrubbery, and some car or child on a bicycle could dart out in front of me at any moment. Now the view seems more expansive, and I doubt that they’ve trimmed the trees back. I think my peripheral vision is naturally expanding, and I’m seeing in a wider arc.
Similarly, the last few times I’ve been in the car, I’ve felt like the windshield lets me see farther to the left and right than I did before. My previous car, from 10 years ago, had a wraparound windshield. When I got my current car I always felt like I was looking straight into the frame of the car body when I turned my gaze to the side — very annoying! Now my eyes just lightly skip over the blockage to see around it, with no problem and no strain.
So even though we’ve got a month and a half until the days start getting longer again here, I am less upset about “losing the light” than I have ever been. I am realizing I can see a lot, color and depth and a surprising amount of detail. I am learning to appreciate the sights my eyes bring me, whatever they are. And it seems the more I am grateful for what I see, the more I can see. Are you valuing the sights in front of your eyes?