Last week I wrote, “Arise, Shine, For Your Light Has Come.” Culled from the Bible, Isaiah 60:1 reads, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” None of us would have ever guessed what would transpire between the time I wrote that column, and the day on which it was published.

A mere six days into the new year, our nation’s Capitol was assaulted. Last week’s column was published the following day. My initial thought on hearing the story of what happened was how guarded the Capitol is. There are people everywhere, always watching over it, so I could not fathom how it could happen.

Today I do not plan to focus on the chaotic state of our nation these days, and I will not write about politics. Indeed. I, once again, intend to inspire you.

I always look up

There is a great big Ferris wheel at Atlantic Station, in Atlanta, which I have always wanted to ride. I do not notice the long line of people waiting to ride it. I look up and imagine what a fabulous view there must be from the top of that wheel.

Because I look up, I see the red tail hawk soaring overhead and the Canada geese flying in formation at sunset. I observe rainbows on rainy afternoons. I spot the magnolia blossoms in the top of those magnificent magnolia trees at Berry College. I notice the full moon, the stars, and even the shooting stars at night.

There is much that we miss when we fail to look up.

Mama said “Look up!”

I miss Mama. She passed away in 2012. She had a sweet, gentle spirit and always knew exactly what to say. Ever the optimist, she always had an encouraging word for us, and for her second grade students as well.

During a difficult time, Mama would often say, “This too shall pass.” At other times she’d say, “Look up! Things will get better.”

I looked up. Things always got better. The difficult times passed away. Mama was right.

Being optimistic

A favorite saying of mine, author unknown, is: “Twixt the doughnut and the hole, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut. The pessimist sees the hole.” What a fun way to ponder optimism. A saying like that encourages us to be optimistic.

God wants us to look up

There is always the chance to enjoy a beautiful, bright, full moon, a wonderful sunrise and a magnificent sunset. Last Wednesday morning, there was a fiery red sunrise the likes of which I do not think I have ever seen. I took pictures of it.

Dec. 21, 2020, was the winter solstice. That is the longest night of the year for the northern hemisphere. Yet that very night, we enjoyed the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Known as the Christmas Star, it was the closest visible conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 800 years. It brightened the darkest night of the year. The planets drew closer. If only our nation could follow that example.

Last weekend we had yet another conjunction. This time it was the triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury. A triple conjunction is rare. The inherent lesson here is you must look up to see these celestial sights! It cannot be mere coincidence that we have recently had these planetary marvels to see, especially the rare triple conjunction. I honestly think God is trying to get our attention and wants us to look up!

Column coming to an end

Although I thoroughly enjoy writing this column, these days I no longer have time for it. Therefore, as of the first of February, I will no longer write a column every week. What I will continue is Mama’s example of looking up and I will continue living my life with plenty of optimism.

The world wants to break us down and discourage us instead of encouraging us. Yet I encourage you to look up even when the world does not. You can never go wrong looking up because we miss too much when we fail to look up.

We might even say, as we do when things are improving in life, “things are lookin’ up!”

Although we want to know the truth, and be realistic, we can never go wrong with optimism. I will even be optimistic about our world during the chaos we are currently witnessing.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, an avid cyclist, history enthusiast, and ardent reader of Southern fiction. She is the author of a new book, “Write Now.” Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.

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