The Outside Looking In

This is one of my favorite views in my house. It’s taken from the perspective of my leather recliner looking through the living room into the dining room. I sit in this chair each morning and watch the sun rays  fill the dining room with light  while I contemplate the day, meditate, pray, drink my coffee…

It’s my own “outside looking in” moment. 

I have another “outside looking in moment” from many years back when my mom was in a board and care facility. I arrived for a weekly visit and instead of just walking in, something in the universe had me pause and I peered in through the little opening in the door. 

Here was my  “outside looking in” moment”:

All six  residents–some in chairs and some in wheelchairs- were sitting at the table eating lunch. My mom was seated at the head of the table. In some ways it was a rather nice scene but at the moment I couldn’t fully appreciate it. My mom had the equivalent of an adult bib around her neck and my focus went to that. I will confess that there was some sadness with this “outside looking in” moment. I remember a small sigh before I turned the handle to enter. 

This memory is still vivid for me and I reflect on it from time to time. Years later I can appreciate more about that moment–she was safe, part of a community, and engaging in a daily life ritual. 

I also realize that perhaps this moment wasn’t just my “outside looking in” moment, it might have belonged  to her as well. Maybe she too had moments  of thinking about how different life looked. Might she have glanced at the table from time to time from favorite seat in the living room to ponder as well?

Hold on to those “outside looking in” moments. You never know when they will give life more meaning.