The Discipline of the Endless Sky and the Tiny Things in the World

A couple of weeks ago I returned home after a road trip out west. We saw mountains and canyons and hoodoos (look it up) and stone arches carved into the landscape like God’s own viewfinders. It was breathtaking. But what I kept going back to was the feeling I got from the vast sky above it all. I live in the city so on a daily basis I only see the little peeks of the sky that the cityscape grants me. But here in these wide open spaces, the sky was immense and overwhelming. I felt small in the most healing way. It reminded me that my perspective is limited but there’s something bigger and grander if I’ll take the time to look up.


After I returned home, something prompted me to get out my macro lens and get a closer look at some flowers that were blooming in my yard. I took a walk around the garden and started zooming in on things that were moments ago hidden from me. Oh dear God, the universes inside the tiny things of the world.


Ironically, the feeling of encountering things this close was almost identical to the feeling I had when I encountered the endless sky. Both made me feel humble and overcome with gratitude.

If you know me well, you know that I’m prone to cynicism and just a tiny bit of soul-crushing depression on occasion. The current state of the world and other bothersome situations in my life have made fighting these states of mind a full time occupation. It’s exhausting, really. I get up every morning and remind myself:

Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

Part of the problem is that when I think about the “state of the world” and those “bothersome situations” I imagine that I know everything I need to know about them already. I’m not normally given to such obviously delusional thinking, but I’m tired and it’s easier to just make a boat load of assumptions about the barrage of information coming at me all the time, and move on. One foot in front of the other.

But when I disciplined myself to sit under the dome of the sky and made myself a student of her on-and-on-ness I remembered that I am so small and I only see a tiny fragment of what is real. And when I disciplined myself to invite the tiny things to teach me, I remembered that it’s good to slow down and look more deeply into the things I think I understand.

You should definitely zoom out and zoom in for yourself. You won’t believe what you discover there.

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Posted in getting real
3 comments on “The Discipline of the Endless Sky and the Tiny Things in the World
  1. carlapersoon says:

    Hi Terri. I loved seeing all those pictures of your trip. So reminded me of the trip I took 30 years ago. And those macro pictures are fantastic. Isn’t the world a great and beautiful place if we just forget about all those people who are trying to spoil this.

    • Hi Carla. Thanks for your kind words. It must have been good to revisit those places vicariously and remember their beauty. And don’t let anyone spoil the world for you. It’s just too beautiful.

      Love to you.


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