How many things do we miss in our daily lives that are right there in front of us, right there in plain sight? We always are in a hustle and bustle to get to where we need to be, always checking our phones and calendars to see what’s next and what to prepare for. We hate surprises and we hate the unknown. Isn’t that the purpose of a smart phone? To avoid the “not knowing” and to avert the unexpected. We are always so stressed out and so pushed to our “about to have a nervous breakdown” brim that distractions are simply not allowed. There is no time to stop and smell the roses, because even if the roses are beautiful and blooming and right there in front of us, we just can’t do it. If we stop to smell the roses, we might get pricked by one of its thorns, and who has time for that? It’s amazing how many things we miss in our days simply because we are so concerned about getting to “Point B”. You see the starting point, Point A, and you imagine the ending point, Point B, but you forget about the line in-between, the line that “connects the dots.”
In truth, I have always been envious of those who deem themselves “observers”. Someone who takes in everything as if they are seeing it for the first time, someone who acts as if they were blind and now can see. While I feel like I do an adequate job of taking things in and capturing moments around me, there still have been all too many moments in my life when I’ve noticed something long after I’ve been aware that it’s there.
Let’s say you drive down the same street every day. You take this street to work, to church on Sunday mornings, and to the local gym. You drive down it every single day, and yet, finally, years after going down this street, you finally notice a beautiful tiny house tucked away behind some trees. And from that point forward, you notice this little house on the side of the road, always looking for it and anticipating it. But why did it take you so long to see it? You may have been aware that there was house there, in that little spot on the side of the road, but maybe you never really “saw” it; never really looked at it and took it completely in.
Now, of course, that was one example, but this happens with everything in our lives. Sometimes, it takes us months and months to notice something beautiful that we have gone past 100 times. Other times, we never notice the beauty of something until we are at risk of losing it, of never having it again. Tragedies reveal to us the beauty of what life was like earlier, and help us to embrace the beauty of things afterwards. We see the beauty of things when it is slipping through our fingers, when we are trying our very hardest to hold on to it, but yet it falls between our fingers like sand. Like the quote posted above, the simple act of breathing is beautiful, but we do not realize it until after we cannot claim it as ours.
To say that you must try and notice every tiny detail in your life is both absurd and intangible. We see thousands of things every day, and to remember it all is beyond anyone’s power. But to pick out a few small details, to notice a house far back behind the road, to acknowledge the person that pours your cup of coffee every morning, to be aware of the first few breaths you take right after you wake up, these are things that help you see the big picture, and more importantly, help you see the simple, pure beauty of living.
**Prayers go out to those affected by the Boston tragedy this past week. Prayers also go up and out to everyone that has ever been affected by a tragedy, big or small, national or local. We all define the word “tragedy” in our own ways, and we have all suffered through our own sort of “tragedy”. And it is through tragedy that our eyes open up to the world’s most overlooked beauty; The beauty of breathing.
Photo Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/breath