Wednesday, May 19, 2010


"The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective."

Author: Al Neuharth

Our new house is in the same neighborhood I've lived in for over 10 years, and the street I now live on is very familiar to me.  I once ran down it on while it was still hard, rocky dirt.  Shane and I once stole borrowed obtained some "free" sand from its abandoned corner in a desperate moment while trying to finish our back patio.  I often admired the beautiful sunflowers growing in its empty lots on evening walks with the kids last fall.  It is somewhere I thought I was very familiar with.  I thought I knew what it looked like.

Similarily, I had an idea of what my house would look like when we lived there.  We probably toured our house 7 times before we actually bought it.  I spent 2 hours there on our final walk through, mentioning nicks in the paint and drawers that were sticky.  During those times, I had mentally moved in, placing a couch in the family room, a TV on the mantle (except at Christmas time, when it was covered in pine boughs and stocking hangers), the piano in the front room.  I thought I knew what my house and my street and my life would look like.

But over the last few weeks, the look of my new street and my new house  (even the old church building that houses my new ward) has changed.  They have gone from generic, impersonal rooms and streets and empty lots to something different, something familiar.  I have to remind myself to see them the way I used to see them.  Sometimes I can't do it.  I have to think really hard, picturing our realtor standing in the hall near the back door, telling us we probably wouldn't be quick enough to get that house.  Then, when I can remember, I am shocked at how different it looks now, how the context of my possessions, cats, family, cars, and calendars have changed it.  The once-familiar street that was a part of the path to my real life is now my life's destination.  The context of the path up the hill to my old house has changed because I'm driving away now instead of toward. 

Which takes me back to my opening quote.  The difference we perceive in our street, our path, our house, our lives comes from the difference in our perspective.  The house and the street I used to run by and pilfer from are now mine, rather than someone else's.  I have imposed a bit of my reality on them which has changed the way they look to me forever.  It is impossible for it to be any other way.  But I wasn't expecting it.  When I first detected it, I tried to fight it, to keep trying to see it the way I used to, but I've realized I can't.  I have to allow the magic that makes houses into homes to transform my reality.  I have to allow my eyes to see the once familiar places with the freshness that comes from that reality.  I think I can enjoy and be grateful for this gift that my new perspective has given me now that I can recognize it.


Amy Sorensen said...

I think life in general is also like have a vision of how you think it will be, wavering off in the future. Once you reach the reality you have to see it for what it is, not what you imagined it would be.

I am still thinking about this. But thanks! I loved this post.