Whenever we walk our local wildlife refuge, a mandatory stop along the way is the viewing platform. Located at about the halfway point of a three-mile loop, from that vantage point we might catch a glimpse of one of the local elk herds, pairs of Sandhill Cranes, flocks of waterfowl, and on a clear day, a straight shot at Mt. Adams, known to Native Americans as Pahto.
The viewing platform is a spot to pause and take in a larger view than what is visible along the forest trail, and while we don’t always hit the wildlife spotting jackpot, the view is always worth the trip.
Time on that simple structure is a chance to gain perspective, and see one’s life as a small part in the bigger scheme of things. It is an opportunity to catch sight of something that takes our breath away and inspires us to imagine new possibilities. Or, on a foggy day, only hints at what might lay just beyond our sight. A few moments on the platform provide a brief respite to gather our strength, and it is a place to leave behind the old in order to make room for something new.
We all need a viewing platform from which to consider our small part in the bigger scheme of things. And from that place, we can remember where we’ve been, and set our sights on the trail ahead.