Kirsten Mustain

A healthy perspective can be one of the most difficult things in the world to maintain.

Working life in this world has a tendency to rob human beings of their peace of mind and skew their priorities.

Which is why I am thankful for people who remember what is really important and donate their valuable time to projects that make a difference in our community.

The other day, traveling through the whirlwind of activity that characterizes my life at the Grove Sun, I arrived at Lendonwood Gardens for the annual appreciation dinner hurried, hassled and beleaguered.

I quickly checked my cell phone for messages, wrestled my camera bag from the car, picked up the notebook I dropped, locked the door and took a few running steps through the gate into another world – a world that reminded me to take a deep breath and stop rushing

Slow down

What a concept – a cliché – something I advise others to do every day – breathe deeply and look around. Nothing can be accomplished by running helter skelter like the proverbial headless chicken.

The lovely well-manicured path through the trees beckoned me to the heart of the garden. Music wafted on the breeze.

One of the glorious things about nature is that it radiates peace. 

Lendonwood Gardens, artistically honed and shaped by human hands, offers a respite from traffic and ringing phones.

The garden, beautiful in any season, is one of Grove’s jewels.

We are fortunate that Dr. Leonard Miller had the vision and resources to found it all those years ago, and that a host of volunteers from our community have donated their time and money to keep it beautiful.

If you haven’t visited the garden, you should. Not many communities the size of Grove have attractions of this quality.

It is an ideal place to spend an hour in quiet contemplation or to take an afternoon stroll with a good friend.

And if you are a gardening enthusiast or a lover of botany, the rare and varied flora will delight you.

Speaking of perspective . . .

Sometimes the best way to keep a healthy perspective is to change one’s perspective altogether.

A short hour ago I was in the back seat of a small Cessna rising above the verdant fields and forests that surround our fair town.

I love to fly. Ultra-lights and helicopters are my favorite small craft, but small planes are also lots of fun.

In this instance, I was on a mission to photograph the Right Choices Corn Maze from the air.

This is another area attraction that I highly recommend. It looks fun from above – you can see the way out from a plane – but I imagine it would be fun to find your way out on the ground, as well.

Flying, no matter how many times I do it, always reminds me that my time on earth is limited.

Something about leaving the ground always makes me think about the tenuousness of life.

I don’t mean that flying frightens me. When I was growing up, I had to be calm while flying because my sister wasn’t and we were always seated together. She had a tendency to clutch my arm painfully and hyperventilate during take-off, which was actually more desirable than some of her other in-flight behaviors, such as shrieking when the wing dipped or the plane slowed for landing.

(This may also be the reason why I have learned not to be self-conscious when everyone turns and stares at the person next to me – ah the blessings of family life.)

At any rate, I think my in-flight reveries on the brevity of existence have less to do with fear, and more to do with a change in perspective – the difference in the way the world looks from the air.

Everything looks so small from above. It like the perspective one gets from looking at the vastness of a starry night – in reverse. From below, the heavens appear infinitely immense and it is easy to see how small one is in comparison. From above, the things that look big on the ground – cattle and houses and barns and semis – look tiny and insignificant.

Which is, yet again, a good reason to stop worrying so much about all those little things that seem so big when you’re on the ground in the midst of them all.