Seeing Forward

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photo source: yettis doings

There is something about driving through flat land that makes me deep-chest-sad. I’m not used to being able to see for miles; I’ve lived in mountainous parts of Tennessee for nine years now.

I can’t quite explain the sadness, the overwhelming need to spill tears onto dashboard. Memories of childhood, perhaps: the yellow-corn fields so common in northern Indiana. Leaving fields of gold for the wooded acreage of Virginia when I was 8, headaches speaking my pain for me as I wondered what a new third-grade class would bring.

Beauty lies in the ability to see for miles, as much as there is in purple mountains majesty or snow-peaked mountains or a flowing waterfall.

Why the sadness in this delicate beauty? in the beauty of a baby’s brow, wisps of hair scattered on it? in the beauty of an old picture, sepia and frills?

Seeing forward, seeing for miles in advance, is not our right. Baby’s brow: we know she grows. Old picture: we know the end. Miles of flatland: the road will end, hit ocean or mountain, canyon, museum, something to obstruct view.

Great Love doesn’t let us see infinitely because it would overwhelm. Looking forward swells the heart so large it cannot keep inside the body.

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