Sometimes we are so submerged in the day-to-day details of our lives that we forget to look up and see the bigger picture. Literally. With our heads down, focused on our endless to-do lists, we lose sight of what is really important in life. It’s not the errands, tasks, or dollar signs that will pass before our inner eyes at the end of our lives. It’s the people we’ve loved and the moments of wonder and joy that we’ve experienced we will remember as we leave this lifetime. As we navigate this time of global awakening, we are being continually reminded to see the miracles in every moment. And we need those reminders. At least I do.
It is so easy to forget, to lose yourself in thoughts or distractions. Yet, if you just remember to take a breath and look around, there is extraordinary beauty everywhere. The other day, as I waited for the bus, I watched towering cumulus clouds forming huge white cotton balls against the bluest of skies. Then, slowly charcoal-gray rain clouds moved in, creating a dramatic play of darkness and light. The entire sky was filled with an infinite variety of cloud formations, and I felt blessed to be standing there at that particular time, witnessing Nature’s pageantry. The rest of my day was uplifted by the experience.
Such moments are not infrequent if we just pay attention. Often it’s as simple as walking to a window in the early morning or evening. Daily, the sun puts on a radiant multicolored light show as it rises or sets. Each day is different. Like snowflakes, no two sunsets are the same. And the colors frequently linger well after the sun has disappeared below the horizon—mauves, lavenders, and pinks against an indigo sky, as the stars begin to appear faintly. What more could any human ask of a day on Earth?
Of course, equally important as connections to the natural world are connections to other human beings. Those we love, friends and family as well as those we may just meet in passing, bring us warmth and happiness if we have ongoing appreciation for each person’s uniqueness. There is a cashier in the store where I buy my groceries who is a true master in the art of appreciating people and lifting their spirits. He always has a smile and friendly word for everyone who passes through his line. I learn from him each week how simple it is to be kind, and what a difference it makes.
At times, life’s passing irritations or problems cause us to forget how special the people and experiences in our lives are. Yet, each one is a miracle—each passing cloud or ray of sun, each spring flower, and each extraordinary person. Every single moment is a miracle, even the challenges. Don’t miss your life as it unfolds before you in glorious living color. As the poet Mary Oliver reminds us,
“the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”