We are travelers, everyone of us, upon Life’s Highway. Some who walk along the great Road, see nothing; others see, but without discernment. “Eyes and No Eyes walking the same road." Some keep their eyes and attention fixed upon the affairs of their fellow travelers, many only upon their own. But there are those also who see and Understand.
“Two men looked out from prison bars;
The one saw mud, the other stars!"
If we kept a discriminating record of the ordinary events in our daily lives, of what we have seen, and heard, and thought, as we travel day by day on the journey of Life, with its milestones, signposts, and occasional resting places by the way, what histories we could write, what pictures we could paint, what colored realities, for as Halliburton says, "An Artist has more than two eyes."
We should never lack for color, since life is full of color as of vibration; we should never lack variety or incident, since life is full of both. In life there is no monotony, no two days are alike. Each day has its fresh pictures and colors, and its Dawn, Mid-day and Sunset. Each year is like our whole life in miniature, with its Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; each day sees a New World; as Emerson says "In Nature, every moment is new.”
"New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove,
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought."
Each day is a miracle, and a miracle never wrought before! At each turn in the road we are brought face to face with new scenes. Now, what we make of those new scenes, and of the memories of old scenes, depends entirely upon ourselves. We can, with our imagination, turn them into pictures, and make mental notes, little painted sketches, of what comes within our "line of vision."
In life, as in landscapes, there are many hues and tones of color to be seen, and no two people view life from the same standpoint or see the same colors. Alas! Some are colorblind Emerson truly says, "The difference between landscapes is small, but there is a great difference between the beholders."
Thus two travelers met on the summit of the Rigi and gazed at the loveliest panorama in the world. One was speechless with awe and wonder at the picture spread out before him; the other, a Lancashire manufacturer, exclaimed:—"It is certainly very grand, but what a splendid site for Dyeworks the shores of Lucerne would make!"
Again, when an expedition was being planned at a Swiss hotel, an English tourist exclaimed wearily:—"l suppose it is just the same old thing over again,—a lot of mountains and snow, and that kind of thing!" Beauty surrounded him and it bored him.
Why do we not behold everything with seeing eyes, and understanding hearts, taking our pictures from life itself, allowing nothing and no one to pass us by? On our way we shall not only see, but hear, many wonderful things. For "the Whole Creation talks to him who knows how to lend an ear." And the Whole Creation talks to our eyes as well as to our ears.
We can every one of us be an artist in life. An artist when he beholds a beautiful view or scene, gathers his materials together, and paints such a picture that those who look at it may be at once transported to the actual spot from which it was painted.
We can do likewise. We should make our notes of the foreground, background, and prevailing colors of our picture, writing it down so that our words may represent vividly, to those who read them, the scene we saw.
Carlyle says, "Find you a man whose words paint you a likeness, you have found a man worth something."
Life is like an artist’s palette with all the colors thrown upon it in rich confusion. But the artist knows which are the right colors to use for his picture. Out of the medley many fair scenes will grow, and many sad.
For what would our pictures be without their neutral tints? What would the sunshine be without the shadows—or the blue sky without the grey clouds, and our days without the twilight? What would Life be without its pathos!