We love the momentous occasions in life; the ones the bring big splashes of joy, excitement, and wonder. But what about the moments that are not so grand, those simpler in nature? Is it possible to be as awestruck by them as well?
A quick two-mile walk downtown gave me the opportunity to experience the simple. My path did not present me with grand mountain vistas or groupings of evergreens gathered along a meandering forest path, nor was I lulled into a peaceful state by ocean waters lapping the tiniest granules of beach sand. I was, however, able to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. It was just a matter of my willingness ‘to see’.
Once I left my neighborhood, I was presented with a familiar scene; the old farmhouse where I used to buy my annuals and vegetables. Although no longer a working farm, it is still majestic in its own right. The weathered barns are both stately and tired looking, while the open fields have been taken over by a host of weeds where vibrant plants once yielded fruit. I imagine the farm is yearning to be useful again; lingering in the happy memories of more productive days. Even so, it should not live in shame; it still provides passersby with a natural, untouched view of nature reclaiming the land.
As I continue past the farm, I am faced with a ‘face’. I wonder if she naturally graces this tree where a limb once grew, or if she was carved into the wood. I’d like to think she is a phenomenon.
I proceed onto the main road and notice a towering evergreen gracing a front yard; possibly a cypress. I notice it has long pine cones hanging heavily from its lanky boughs. Although not perfect in form, it seems to anchor the property, in a funky, yet elegant way.
Finally, I reach a formal sidewalk; my yellow brick road to the center of town. I spy color in the landscape ahead; a grouping of small yellow flowers dot the side of the road, which upon closer inspection are identified as the dandelions we love to hate. They are doing what they do best; infiltrating the long grass wherever they please. Although we have been brought up to regard them as our enemy, they look innocent, wild, messy, natural, and in their own way – beautiful. How many times have I driven by and not seen them?
As I continue on, I notice it hasn’t taken long for life to find its way. Small patches of grass have found a home in the narrow cracks of the new concrete sidewalk. It’s funny how things make themselves survive because they know no other way.
Eventually, I pass a building that once housed a preschool. It sits idle now except for random items that appear near the driveway, just looking for a new home. I chuckle at the sign placement.
As I descend the hill leading to the town center, I notice the landscape is crowded with homes; historic, new, maintained, and those needing care. I appreciate the subtle and striking differences; from color and shrubbery choices to decorative elements; all so personal to the inhabitants.
As I continue walking I see an American flag to my left, hanging majestically off the front porch, and to my right the old stone library stoically anchoring the street corner. From there, my eyes shift forward to the old town square where I see the historic and regal red brick buildings in the distance. I respect their history, knowing they shape the architectural integrity of the town. I see their worth, and others must as well; they have survived progression.
I did not find my walk into town in a guidebook or on the internet. No one recommended it, raving about the wonders I would see along the way. It was just a simple two-mile walk down an old country road that continued onto a quaint main street that led into the center of a town. The walk was not outstanding in any way, but it was what I made of it; it was what I chose to see.
Opening yourself to seeing the simple things can be so rewarding. Laughing, appreciating, noticing what’s right in front, to the side, or behind you as you go about your daily life. There is beauty and wonder in so many things, whether you’re gazing out upon the grandeur of the ocean or at a grouping of yellow dandelions rebelliously brightening the grass along the side of the road. It’s all how you see it.
What is it that you see?