It’s a lovely word: beholding.
It expresses seeing beyond the mere perception of light and color, comprehending the deeper realities of the thing seen. It obliges the beholder to a deeper level of discernment than the casual onlooker.
It is a central theme to what I am attempting to sayÂ now in what might someday be my third book. The notion of beholding just cropped up above the horizon of awareness again this morning, reading a piece that resonates with my own hopes to behold the ecology of Goose Creek and tell that story to others.
The “reflection for Earth Day” is authored by Andrew Zolli, and I only hope that I can capture in my personal accounts of life in this Blue Ridge valleyÂ some of the poignant beholding that has led this author to be able to express the practical poetry of beholdingÂ so well:
The world is being built. It is growing. It is on fire. It is collapsing. It is in bloom. It is in decay.
And it is all these things at once.
Sitting with the grand simultaneity of it all, with the direct perception of boundless, kaleidoscopic global change, one begins to feel something new: the possibility of a planetary sense.
And here is the crux of the matter: Earth observation, if entered into deeply, can be not only a psychological experience, but a spiritual one, too.
This requires not just looking, but beholding – to sit in deep and focused awareness, in full presence, without judgment.