Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Often are You Missing the Beauty That is All Around You?

By: Michelle

I’ve always wanted to live in Hawaii. To me it is the ideal place to call home. When I visit the islands I am transported to what feels like a magical state of being. It begins the moment I step foot off the airplane and breathe in the air…it’s just different. I feel at peace there and I spend every moment I am there in this state of gratitude and presence because I want to take it all in.
Several years ago I was absolutely obsessed with wanting to move there. I bought a book about relocating there and spent inordinate amounts of time researching islands, homes, neighborhoods, prices, schools…you name it, I was learning about it.

I also told just about everyone I ran into that I wanted to move to Hawaii. I would lament about the cold climate I lived it and dream about how wonderful my life would be if only I could make the move.
One day when I was talking to a woman and boring enlightening her with my incessant talk about Hawaii she said something that made me think. She said that it’s so wonderful when you visit Hawaii but if you moved there you would have to go to work, take the kids to school, clean the house, and have your busy life there and pretty soon you would stop appreciating the beauty of the place.
Whoa! What? I never thought about it like that. I can’t say 100% agree with everything she said because I do think it is possible to make life-style changes that will allow a person to stop living that “busy life” but it got me thinking.
How often was I missing the beauty that was happening in my own little neck of the woods? How often was I rushing to drop a child at baseball or basketball and hurrying to get the laundry done that I stopped even noticing what was happening in front of my eyes.
I started looking. I looked out the window and saw the tree in my front yard ablaze in rich red and orange tones. How long had that been like that and how did I miss it? I paid attention to the snow in the winter and saw the patterns the wind made. I noticed the wildlife that visited my house everyday and the sunsets that lit up my sky.
Just the other day I was in the car with my youngest son Aidan and we were driving to his soccer practice. We drove by a tree that looked like a fluffy white cloud, filled with fragrant blooms and I pointed it out to him. He said, “Yeah mom, I love that Bull Run is lined with those trees. It looks so cool!” and then we sat at the stoplight admiring the tree.
It was a great moment that we shared and it got even better when this bright red bird flew into the white tree. I had never seen a bird like this. The only red bird I have seen in our area is a cardinal and this wasn’t a cardinal. We both sat and watched that bird hop around branch to branch framed by the delicate white blossoms of the tree and it was magical.
If I were rushing to soccer practice and staring straight out my window, I would have missed that bird and I would have missed the brief display of those trees. I would have missed that special moment with my boy. But instead I looked. I saw the beauty that was there for me. 
Funny thing is, ever since I started this practice, I haven’t had the need to move to Hawaii. I’m content. I’m grounded and I live in the beauty that is here in the Midwest. Crazy!
I invite you to take a moment to see the beauty wherever you are today. If you live in the city, look at the buildings, signs and windows with new eyes. Look at the bark on the tree or the grass in the field. Look for little flowers, bugs, or interesting weeds. Look at the faces of your loved ones and see each freckle and crease and open your heart to the beauty of it all.

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