During the fall and winter months, I can see the downtown Salt Lake City skyline from our bedroom window. As the trees start to leaf out in spring, the view goes away for a few months. The first of the trees to begin obscuring the view is one I have nicknamed the Bob Ross tree. Even without leaves, this tree is tall, full, and round; when it starts to get its green on, I cannot help but think of Ross’s famous hair. It must be a happy little tree.
Each year it seems dozens of trees spout overnight. The merciless pollen count of the last several weeks tells me that the trees have been back in full force for a while now but it was only this week that I noticed we were once again ensconced by trees. All I could see were leaves and the remaining blossoms on our locust tree. From upstairs, you cannot even see the street due to the thick trees tops filled with birds. You can hear the sounds of the neighborhood but you cannot see their source. You are left to ponder and imagine.
Throughout the warmer months last year I could hear a scraping sort of noise from outside but could never quite place it. Was someone moving trash cans? Was it construction noise from our friend’s remodeling up the road? Ambitious insects? By the time I got downstairs, I would get on with my day and forget about investigating the sound any further. The mystery would wait for me until the next time I heard it only to dash off to the recesses of my mind once more. When colder weather returns, our view becomes the skyline once more and also neighbors’ yards. When the leaves fell last autumn it revealed a homemade skateboard ramp in one yard. Mystery solved! The noise was skateboard wheels rolling across skillfully curved plywood.
When seasons change, it offers a time for perspectives to change, literally and figuratively in my case. I can change my focus to appreciate what I can see. Maybe I will ask my friend who is an avid birder the names of the little birds hopping around our branches. Perhaps I will not get so busy and distracted that I will not leave a mystery unsolved until October. Anything is possible
This post originally appeared in May 2018 on what is now my law-focused blog.