It is easy to lope along the path and not really see anything in particular. Eyes focused on the ground ahead, everything else is peripheral.
Whole days pass in similar fashion. You stay focused on what needs to happen, where you need to go, and lots of things remain out there, virtually unseen in the periphery.
Every now and then, though, something captures your attention for a moment before you press on with the agenda. A stranger smiles at you as you pass, or says something nice to you. A friendly dog makes you laugh. A rainbow emerges. You just never know.
Except you do. There’s something beautiful out there each and every day if you’re paying attention.
A lot of our attention these days gets sucked up by pretty depressing media. It can frame our days with anxiety, fear, and disappointment. We suffer with it collectively.
The headlines and the tweets seem unavoidable, but there, out there in the blur of life is a bright red cardinal poised on a branch. It’s a gift from the universe, if we can but notice it. Or maybe it’s the wind in the trees, or a purring cat, or a star in the night sky, or a gentle, spoken word.
I have decided to be on the lookout for these beautiful things. I am noticing with intention.
So, among other things, I stopped today to really look at the cardinal I caught out of the corner of my eye. I discovered two woodpeckers and a talkative chipmunk on scene as well as a pretty fantastic berried tree that I really need to look up.
The more I think about this business of beautiful moments in our lives, large and small, it seems like the thing to do is also to actively bring beauty to this party – in whatever form that might take.
In truth, I am not sure what that means for me exactly: to find ways to bring beautiful moments to the world – to other people, to other animals, to the earth, the universe. But what a delightful little adventure.
I do not advocate ignoring the pressing issues of our times to soothe our souls. I can’t help but think that a collective practice of bringing beauty, and taking it in, would have the power ultimately to impact the negative framework and indeed, the entire narrative.