Unless it is a bright blue October day spangled with leaf color...
Or a silent January evening after a day of steady snowfall...
Or an April morning when nature's first golden green repaints the mountain...
Or a November dawn when fog hangs low in the valley and the chimney smoke from Sadie's kitchen fire floats back along the roof like a lost kite string...
Every day can be breathtaking, amazing, magnificent…but then, is it "rare?"
Doesn't rare means uncommon..unusual...exceptional...extraordinary?
And if every day is this way, or has this potential, it is no longer rare. It is ordinary. Common. Usual. Typical. Yet the beauty is too stunning to ever pass as ordinary. But, somehow that is exactly what happens as I scurry through life, day after day after day. I pass the wonder, unseeing, and pass through my days blind and unmoved by the extraordinary magnificence that colors every ordinary day.
Last October, I undertook a personal challenge, a project, based on this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"To the attentive eye,
each moment of the year has its own beauty,
and in the same fields,
it beholds every hour a picture which was never seen before and shall never be seen again."
I took time to develop my attentive eye. I made an effort each day to watch my ordinary, Hickory Lane world for the beauty of which Emerson spoke. My facebook page became a place for me to record observations and to challenge others to join me. I posted photos of extraordinary splendor in the ordinary sights of every ordinary day. I found myself looking more, and seeing more. More beauty, more tiny bits of wonder, more of what was already there, but which I ordinarily overlooked in my inattentive daily rush. I liked what happened in me as I became more aware of and more grateful for the extraordinary wonders in my ordinary world.
So, it's the first day of June now, and and I'm realizing I am in great need of my attentive eye to seek, to absorb, to attend to the beauty that surrounds me in my ordinary challenging world. Some of you know that our household is living the reality of recovery from major back surgery on Hickory Lane, and none of us would have chosen this journey for any of the rest of us…yet here we are.
And it's hard.
Painful for everyone involved.
It is a journey of change and loss and uncertainty.
And in the middle of that, it's hard to keep my eye attentive to the wonder that surrounds me.
I wasn't looking for the wonder.
My Amish neighbor was hauling manure, so that added to the…atmosphere. On one of his trips out the field lane, he paused his horses parallel to where I was working and pointed skyward with a sweep of his arm. Rainbow.
Weeds and wonder.
Welcome to my world. Probably yours too.
Ordinary days, rare days. One and the same. Sometimes it's just a matter of perspective, of looking for the one even in the midst of the other. This is my personal June challenge, to find the "rare" in every ordinary day. I'd be glad for some fellow travelers on this journey…