08 February 2011


I’ve been reading a book with a lot of interviews of older people who show a lot of wisdom.  One of the men interviewed in the book said that he’s brought to tears every time he sees a sunset or a rainbow because he never knows when he might see his last one.  It’s a beautiful perspective, for it reminds us that there are many, many beautiful things on this planet all the time.  The only question we have to ask ourselves is whether we notice them and appreciate them for all they’re worth.

There are some wonderful trees and bushes right outside our apartment.  I do my best to notice their beauty whenever I pass them, but I have to admit that I sometimes walk right by without noticing them.  We live very near a beautiful lake, and sometimes I drive by it without seeing what kinds of unique light might be hitting it today.  We have beautiful pictures on our walls that I hardly notice any more–I can sit in front of them for a long time without even seeing them any more.  Sometimes I don’t even notice just how clear and brilliant my wife’s eyes are because I see her so often that they don’t make the same impression on me that they used to.

Even as I write these words, I can look about myself (and I’m doing so) to see many beautiful things–the pictures, the plants, the cacti, the flowers, the tablecloth, the tissue box, the clouds and the blue sky.  But I have to make a conscious effort at times like these to see them, to notice them, to be truly aware of their beauty.  I can’t see the breeze, but it feels beautiful as it comes through the window.

Awareness is a choice, and sometimes it takes effort.  But it’s never disappointing if we truly put some effort into it.  The rewards for our effort already surround us all the time, but they’re awards that we miss constantly until we make the decision to open our eyes and our hearts to the beauty that’s always everywhere.

A person is alive only to the degree that he or she is aware.
To make the most of life we must constantly strive to be aware
of the importance of being aware.  Be aware of your senses
and use them:  So often we are distracted and unconscious of
the riches our senses can pour into our lives.  We eat food
without tasting it, listen to music without hearing it, smell
without experiencing the pungency of odors and the delicacy
of perfumes, touch without feeling the grain or texture, and see
without appreciating the beauty around us.

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