Crawford Notch is one of my favorite places in the world. I grew up in the White Mountains and spent a lot of time in the Notches. As a kid my parents were avid hikers, me not so much…but I got dragged along anyways. I always loved it when we would venture into the Crawford Notch for there was something magical there, a presence…like a direct connection to the Divine. A few falls back when my son was living in Maine I spent a lot of time traveling through the Notch. I would get giddy with excitement when I entered the deep vale, a remarkable sense of awe filling me. On one of my trips I stopped at one of the visitors viewing stations and took a picture. What I captured in that picture was amazing….there amongst the trees was a being, what I have come to see as a Treant. I have always been connected to the Fae (fairy folk), having seen them for most of my life, but I missed seeing this big glorious wonder with my own eyes because I was looking too small. It makes me wonder how much we miss everyday by keeping our view limited.
I know people see what they expect to see and often do not even catch all that is part of reality, let alone things we see as outside of reality. I once did an experiment with this in mind. I was picking blueberries along side the road, just down from my house. I was standing in a little clearing about 8′ wide between trees. There were 2 people coming down the road on bicycles. I got it into my mind that I was going to try to be invisible. So I stood very still between the trees and kept my eyes soft, using wide angle vision (kind of like the way you look at those 3D pictures that jump out at you), I made sure not to directly look at the bicyclist. I took look, smooth deep breaths and watched as the bicyclist rode by me without even looking in my direction. I was so close I could have reached out my hands and touched them. I think about this often when I wish to expand my vision…I think about how sometimes things are just out of our comprehension, that we put too much stock in the wow factor…expecting things to have high definition details, with flash bang effect just out of latest production of Hollywood. When in fact most often the things outside of our reality are of a subtle nature, requiring one to quiet their mind and shift their gaze.
Today is my birthday and I am heading out this afternoon on a mini adventure with my love. We were going to camp in the Crawford Notch, but with the less then pleasant weather I decided a jeep trip over the Kancamangus Highway & up through the Crawford Notch sounded better. So today I will head out with my eyes wide, and my vision broad…I will soften my gaze and look for the big as well as the small. I was talking to one of my friends about my plan to go searching for the Tree Spirit of the Crawford Notch and she suggested looking through something, kind of like in the Spiderwick movie when the kids had to look through a monocular of sorts in order to see the hidden ones. I am not sure I am going to use an actual item, but I am going to focus my minds eye like a magical monocular and see what I can see.
I highly recommend shifting your awareness, changing your view…go spend some time in nature. Sit still, breathe deep and shift your vision to a soft, wide angle gaze. Look for movement in your peripheral vision. Resist the urge to turn quickly to look at it directly…be still and observe. Good luck and please share any experiences you have.