Looking Up

When I get tired of lying on my bed, looking up at the ceiling, I sometimes lie on the floor. There’s something I find comforting about the hardness of the surface beneath me. It feels supportive and solid, and I like knowing that this is the bottom and the ground is holding me, and that I am safe. 

Ceilings are full of potential. They are blank, untouched space, making my room look so much bigger than it actually is. I design my future room on ceilings. In my head, I turn the world upside down and I imagine walking on the ceiling like that girl in that movie I saw a long time ago, that I never remember the name of. 

Lying on the ground in a tree-clad patch of sunlight is rather different. There’s a softness to the ground and maybe it makes you remember the soft, secretive places you discovered in childhood where nothing could ever hurt you. It’s also quieter, so much so that you can hear the flutter of birds’ wings as they flit from tree to tree. 

But mostly it’s different because the ceiling in nature is positively, impressively unlimited. It’s just sky, without a beginning and without an end, and it makes you feel small but precious in some way too. Because someone decided you should be alive, and somehow you made it here, on this earth, in this tree-clad patch of sunlight – and that counts for something, maybe even everything. 

You know you can’t ever count all the leaves on the branches, or touch the sky, or know all the secrets to the universe but you’re here anyway, as much a part of the world as the trees, and you’re thinking things, feeling things, loving things, hating things, being swept up by things, being trampled on by others, and looking up at things. It’s beautiful that hard places exist and that soft places do too. It’s beautiful that forests are alive and so are you. A lot of things in life are beautiful, actually. Especially when you look up.

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