The Wonders Around Us

Recently I’ve been more aware of nature. I like seeing the way the sunrise rays shine on the clouds. If the light outlined clouds like that in a painting, I would probably say the artist was unrealistic because it’s something you just don’t see everyday. You have to be up early.

Early is my favorite time. Seeing the stars as we begin our morning walk, then seeing the eastern sky lighten gradually and the stars quickly fade from view makes me realize once again that everything changes in this world. And the changes come as fast as the sunlight makes the stars disappear or as slow as the moon going through its cycles.

On my walk, I stop by Marge and Bill’s fence to, yes, smell the roses. This morning after last night’s frost, I had to search for the newest blossoms. I smelled the fragrance I was after, but it took a bit to find it. By tomorrow, there may be no fresh blossoms left.

I stop in our walk by the rose fence because it reminds me once again that life is fleeting and I mostly run with it, and I need to slow down a bit and find joy in little things instead of working to mark tasks off my long list. Jim doesn’t wait for me to find the perfect flower; he watches me as he walks slowly backwards so when I finish I can easily catch up to him. It’s not in his nature to wait. Nor is it in mine, but I’m working on it.

The other day, I studied a monarch that had lost its flock as they flew south to Mexico. It lay on the grass, and at first I thought it was no longer alive. But as I bent down to admire the colors and design of its wings, it fluttered away.

I’ve studied lichen on the trees and stones in the woods behind us. But it’s taken concentrated effort to go in search of that little detail that is always there.

Do we have to force ourselves to see the small things in life, to focus in like the lens on a camera on the individual leaves that make up a tree or the rough bark that isn’t a solid brown-gray, but resembles overlapping pedals if we take the time to zoom in?

Artists instinctively know this. They see shadows and sunlight and minute details. I want to see this world with an artist’s eye.

I’m trying to learn to see not just the big picture, but the little details that are quite wonderful. And what I wonder is how, why, when? Such a vast universe and such tiny little bits make it so big.

I hope to always be full of wonder.

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