Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii, taro fields

A Matter of Perspective

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Taro fields near Hanalei, Kauai island, Hawaii. OK, so this wasn’t from my business trip, but is a lush example of farms-as-art from a vacation.

My business trip last week resulted in four airplane flights, and I had lots to think about as I flew over the landscape. Nothing looks the same as it does from the ground, of course. The wildfire looked new and small, even if it wasn’t so small to those threatened below. The long straight roads looked boring and monotonous, while they may only appear efficient and fast to a driver on the road. The twisting, winding roads make interesting patterns that I couldn’t have seen if I was on the ground.


I was surprised to see the inner artist come out in the form of tractor-art. I looked at the patterns made by the fields, what was planted in them, and their current place in the circle of life (new growth, full growth, dry and ready for harvest, fallow field, etc.). As the plane was approaching its landing on my second flight, I saw the most beautiful patterns made by wheat field furrows. We’d already been instructed to stow our electronics, so I couldn’t take any pictures. How could the farmer have driven his tractor so perfectly to create such unusual symmetry without seeing the pattern from above?

Idaho fields (I think)

Do the farmers know what their fields look like from the air? Probably not. Yet, the inner compass guides them to build a beautiful mosaic nonetheless. It made me think about any etherial or heavenly bodies and what they may see from a similar perspective when they look at our planet and our lives. Are we designing a beautiful picture with what we do? Did we drive a straight line from birth to death, without any winding sections, side roads, or blind alleys? Did we meander and double-back so much that we just don’t seem to leave the starting place? Did we go in circles? Did we make the most of our terrain or try to force it to an ill-suited purpose? Or can a celestial being see that we’ve created a thing of beauty —  balanced and original?

Idaho (I think) fields


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