Surprises from looking up

fragrant flowers on a lime tree
The mystery enchanting flowers

For the last week or two my neighbour, Gerry,  and I have encountered a mysterious gorgeous fragrance at the top of the hill on our morning walk along the River Kelvin to the Botanic Gardens.   It’s hit us as we come out of the wooded path that rises along the river, as we emerge into the Botanics.  Every morning we pause and look around, sniffing anything that might possibly be producing the enchanting smell.  We’ve checked out rose bushes, hostas, and anything else that might possibly emit a fragrance.  But there are very few flowers visible in that particular spot, so it has remained an ongoing mystery… until this morning!

Finally, following my nose for the smell of Hawaii in the landscaped woods of Glasgow, I looked up.  There in what appeared to be a big but otherwise ordinary lime tree, were small pale, yellow flowers.  Aha! A potential solution.  After more sniffing, I finally spotted a low enough branch to grasp a little bud to sniff.  Sure enough, the mysterious had been coming from right over our heads the whole time!  We had just kept our eyes on the ground and missed it.

This revelation reminded me of a story I read several years ago that’s stuck with me.  A mum and son were driving past a church one day when they noticed the sign out front, which simply said, “Just look up”.   They commented on this to each other and went on.  Later they came out of a shop to discover the mum had locked her keys in keys in the car.  She was starting to panic when her son said, “Don’t worry, Mom.  Remember, just look up!”  She thought he was being philosophical in her moment of practical problems, but he had taken the sign at face value – and looked up.  Sure enough, flying overhead just then was an airplane with a banner advertising locksmith services!  They phoned the number and were soon happily on their way.  How cool is that?

I reckon there’s a lot to be gained from “looking up” in many aspects of life.  In Glasgow city centre, people often miss the amazing detail of the architecture because they forget to “look up”.  They are too lost in thoughts of everyday life at street level.   Similarly, when I’m out I’m often thinking and looking down as I walk.  I realised this morning that part of the reason that Gerry knows so many people that he can’t walk down Byres Road without meeting at least one person he knows, is that he looks up when he walks.  People I know have to wave their arms to get my attention in the street, but Gerry’s looking up and spots people.  The opportunities for him are greater because he doesn’t have his eyes glued to the ground.

Looking higher up also gives you different perspectives when you’re feeling down.  When I fly, I’m always struck by how clear the sky is above the clouds.  If you look up high enough – or even just know that clearness is up there – then you can see there’s much more sense to life than the clouds you’re experiencing.

In my Karuna Reiki training last weekend, we talked a lot about living through your higher self and letting go of hang-ups that aren’t doing you any good.  There are lots of tools in Karuna that make this process a lot easier if you put them to use.  As well as clearing out these blockages and negative beliefs, the Karuna symbols are also useful for manifesting what you need in life.  But they do it by helping you focus “up”, or rather drawing your upper (“higher”) self’s wisdom down into you.  Manifesting then produces what’s best for you with much less effort, instead our more traditional Western approach of keeping our eyes down and working hard until we’re exhausted and empty.  All that clarity that you see above the cloud level is available, if we raise our attention to what’s up instead of what’s down.

So whether you want to feel more positive at a philosophical level or you’re looking for more practical solutions like the source of heavenly fragrances or a locksmith, try looking up and see how the world opens up for you. 🙂


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