Over thirty years ago I received the gift of an additional point of view. I was in my late teens, and, unsurprisingly, I wasn't really interested in the opinions of my parents. I had temporarily shed my concern about the opinions of peers and my teachers with the move to NC. So I was as free as I've been in my entire life, with no one's views to consult but my own. I ran a little wild for a few months, driving too fast, laughing out loud, spending my small wages with gleeful abandon.
And then I deliberately connected myself with the wits and heart of another. She saw the potential in the union first, an early sign that things were clearer from where she stands. She had to chase me some, but I wasn't hard to catch. I had been free, but feeling incomplete since I was about eight or nine years old, and in my teens I had figured out enough to know what I needed. I was looking for the rest of me. I had one point of view, and one heart; I was looking for that binocular vision that provides depth and perspective. I needed another head and another heart next to mine. I was looking for the right thing, but in the wrong places; she knew what she was doing and gave me a hand. That's what it's been like for thirty years. I'm generally close, but she's closer and I'm better off if I give her a chance to think it through and then I listen.
And while it has taken years to understand that her point of view is generally better than mine - closer to the truth, up above more clouds than mine is - I now know I'm usually happiest looking over her shoulder like this.
For instance, this day was her idea - we went to Roan Mountain State Park on the NC/TN boundary. Along with Grayson Highlands in Virginia, the Shining Rock Wilderness and the Black Mountains of North Carolina, this ranks as one of the most breathtaking and magical places I've been. The views, the light, the colors, the smells, the wind, the clouds roaring past, everything heightened the senses and sped the pulse. Crows flew over and my envy was a sharp painful pleasure, wishing I, too, could float over this incredible landscape and play in this living wind.