I’m not sure it’s possible to see the whole picture. But maybe if we spend time viewing the scene, we’ll glean a better idea of a situation beyond our initial snap judgment.

My husband and I recently drove down Highway 395 traveling along the eastern slopes of the Sierras. After this winter’s record-breaking snowfall, many of the mountains were still drenched in snow even in late May.

We spent one night in Lone Pine – gateway to Mt. Whitney. About ten years ago, I hiked to the summit of Mt. Whitney with one of my daughters: a fun but grueling adventure as we did it in one day.

Anyway, the morning of our recent trip, I stood in our hotel parking lot and snapped a picture of the mountains right across the highway. We were anxious to get home, so I didn’t take the time to make sure Mt. Whitney was in my focus. Regardless, I was positive I had captured the mountain in my quick photo.

As we headed off, I looked at my picture. (my husband was driving!) I couldn’t tell if I’d captured Mt. Whitney at all! I knew the mountain in the front wasn’t it. But I was unsure if the mountains to the far left or the far right of the picture frame were the highest point in the contiguous United States. I searched the internet for photos of the mountain. After much zooming and comparing, I realized I was fortunate to capture even a snippet of the mountain on the far right of my picture frame.

I had been so certain of capturing the whole picture I wanted when I stood in the hotel parking lot. Hopefully, I won’t be so quick to make snap judgments in the future, but will instead take the take to view the entire scene.