Brenda’s Blog – October 20, 2015
“The mountains spoil the view.”
Years ago I traveled frequently to the Pacific Northwest. Flying into Portland thrilled me. Leaving the mountains behind made me sigh. On one trip back to Iowa, I sat next to a farmer from Nebraska. As a plane chit-chatter, I said, “Don’t you love seeing the mountains?” “No, I don’t. The mountains block the view.” I was stunned. THE MOUNTAINS WERE THE VIEW! He went on to explain he could step out on his Nebraska porch and see for miles and miles – that was the view he loved.
I realized much of life is based on our own perspective, and experiences. I treasured the majesty of mountains; he resented the way they limited his sight line. For me to establish my preference as the rule would damage any further conversation.
In the last few weeks a dear friend and I traveled through New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. I eagerly anticipated the ride on the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge steam railroad. The ride through the mountain passes and along the Animas River excited me. My sweet friend politely expressed appreciation for the beauty of the turning leaves, and the mighty rock walls… but with polite reservation.
There were times when the granite cliffs were so close we could literally reach out of the open observation car and touch the rocks. I must admit my breaths were shortened by the altitude and the closed in pathway.
We descended from the heights of Silverton into the open meadows around Durango. “I love this,” was her response as she took a deep breath. To me, it was just high altitude flat lands. To her, it was a place she could finally see the view.
In the next few days we traveled through stark New Mexico into Santa Fe, and finally into Amarillo, TX. “Now, this is what I like!” REALLY? Except for the Cadillac Ranch on I-40 outside town, and the enormous roadside cross, I missed the beauty she saw.
Personality preferences are real. Different perceptions exist. When we only see life through our own framework, we miss so much. My friend taught me to look at acres of Texas Panhandle land with new eyes… and appreciate it greatly. I still love the grandeur of the peaks, but the wideness of the prairie now brings a smile.