As I write this, I cannot stop enjoying the view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Rolling green and yellow meadows lead up to the darker evergreens in the foothills, punctuated by low rock bands. Higher, the rock takes over, massive granite formations rising in jagged ridges, broken by darker gullies and lighter mineral bands. The aptly named Rockies soar to incredible heights, with misty clouds swirling around halfway up and the peaks shimmering in uninterrupted sunlight.
I notice, as I do periodically, that I am seeing clearly. This has not always been the case. Some time around third grade I began to have difficulty seeing what was written on the chalkboard in school. From then on, my eyesight slowly declined until, without glasses or contact lenses, everything more than a few feet away was an indistinguishable blur.
I have always loved spending time outside, in the mountains especially. If I cannot physically be there, having a good view of them is the next best thing. I stared out the window during school not because the lessons bored me, but because I preferred to be outside, whatever I was doing. I did not like the feeling of wearing glasses or contacts, but I wore them anyway so that I could see the mountains.
What I did not realize was that no matter how good my lenses were, I was never seeing clearly—not as clearly as other people saw. When I went in for a LASIK screening, I learned not only that I was a candidate for LASIK, but also that LASIK might give me better vision than I could ever have had with contact lenses.
After the quick recovery from LASIK, I was ecstatic to find that I was, for the first time I could remember, truly seeing clearly. The mountains were so crisp and clear. Even when they were hazy, I could still perceive the haze perfectly and enjoy the clarity of my surroundings in relation to the subtle distortion of the mountains. For months and months, I stopped every day to enjoy the view and revel in the clarity of it, the perfect image generated by my own eyes. Now I usually just enjoy the view, but I still sometimes stop to think gratefully about how clear and beautiful the world is.