Overcoming Tunnel Vision
The difference between a mid-summer bicycle ride and one of an early spring variety is measurable. You can literally measure the growth of the crops as you ride past. By this time of year, especially with all of the summer’s rain, the corn forms tunnels along some of the county roads that I ride. What began as a small kernel has emerged into a tall plant, fully tasseled, and producing grain.
To my untrained eye those corn fields look pretty healthy and may produce a bumper crop. Then again, I’m certain there are many variables at work of which I am not fully aware. For example, how much rain is too much rain for corn this time of year? What kind of soil moisture levels will a corn or soy bean crop tolerate? Are there any insects, worms or other pests at work in the field? How has the abundance of moisture effected the presence of weeds that may inhibit growth and production? Height alone may not be the only indicator of good growth.
From a cycling point of view, much as I enjoy the tunnel feel of roads lined with maturing corn crops, and the windbreak they can provide; I have to admit that my vision – and more importantly my ability to be seen – has been diminished in this mid-summer season. I find myself taking intersections much more carefully and doing what I can to be visible to the occasional passing vehicle. I’ve also stopped on occasion to take a closer look into a field and notice some of the variables not obvious when one scoots past at a faster clip.
My point is that a casual look alone may not be the best indicators of what is really going on – in a corn or soybean field, or in a life. One often has to look deeper, with more focus, to truly see and understand what on the surface may appear to be just fine.
Persons who give off a sunny, everything’s great disposition may be hiding some form of pain behind that forced smile. Or, it may be they are a sunny, everything’s great person! (Let’s hope so.) But more than a casual glance will be required to determine which is true.
Do we go through life with tunnel vision, not really considering what is going on the lives of those around us? Or, will we take note of the landscape – cornfields and human – that we pass in our travels and maybe even stop to ask “how are things with you?”
Check your vision . . . and watch out for cyclists!