I don’t usually get the window seat.
But boarding today brought a bit of a surprise as I scooted past my row-mates and found my assigned position up against the side of the airplane with the plastic cover just waiting to be pushed up.
I am so unused to this position while traveling, I forgot I had the access and spent most of the flight doing my most famous combination – reading and falling asleep at the same time (and then pretending I wasn’t falling asleep and re-reading the same passages over and over again.)
But when the pilot came over the speaker to let us all know we were close to descent, I pushed up the shade and stuck my face against the small bubble of glass, curious to see what we were flying toward.
As we scraped over clouds, views obstructed by big, white fluffiness for moments at a time, I started to see colors below:
Greens. Blues. Browns.
And as we sank closer, there were houses and lawns and tiny cars headed somewhere.
And I was struck by two things: the sense of awe at the scale of it all; and the sense that the details seemed unimportant.
I mean, the details are important. Especially when you are on the ground.
But that is the thing about perspective. Thousands of feet in the air make a whole lot of things appear pretty similar.
For example – I could see a lot of houses. But I couldn’t tell you how many rooms were in each, how nice the crown molding looked, or when the last time the floors were swept.
I could see cars going from one location to the next. But I have no clue how much each of them cost.
And there was so much land. But I don’t know who owned any of it.
The point is that, sometimes, the details matter in the moment. But in the big picture – from the window of an airplane – they barely matter at all.
That is because who is inside the house and where the car is going are more interesting to the plot.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And remember that most of it is small.