Daylight fills the forest outside. Here and there, branches and leaves highlighted by the sun’s rays appear to have sunlight aimed directly at them, accentuating a thousand different shades of bright yellows and greens and golds and browns. The surrounding, almost identical, foliage seems dull in comparison. But, ignoring the illuminated contrasts, the comparatively drab leaves are, themselves, bright. The forest is a study in contrasts that, unless one forces his attention on the full spectrum of hues and shades, appears a uniformly mottled green.
Looking intently at the world outside my windows—and giving my undivided attention to every image before my eyes—causes a deep sense of appreciation to build inside me. If I look at the forest long enough and think deeply enough about how fortunate I am to see what is before me, I understand, viscerally, what “awe-inspiring” means. Wonder washes over me like a wave.