It has become my mantra...my most important New Year's resolution. And, (in deference to another one of my resolutions), I am taking pride in my accomplishments in regards to how much I have improved in this, as well as (resolution #3) remembering that baby steps are enough. Having said all of that, though, I had quite an aha moment on my way to work this morning.
How many of us take essentially the same route to work every day? We drive down the same streets, turn at the same corners, going our merry way on autopilot because, after all, we see the same thing every day.
Except we don't.
Because each day, the view is different...we only have to pay attention and notice the changes around us.
There is a woman I see most days on my way to work. She walks down the street pulling a red radio flyer. In that wagon is a child. Sunshine or rain, warm or cold--she carts her child to wherever it is that they are going. In September, it was bright and sunny during my 7:30 a.m.commute, and the child sat tall in the wagon...thumb in mouth, eyes alert. The woman was jaunty in running pants and a t-shirt, walking with purpose, but also with a relaxed and leisurely air. Now, in the cold and dark mornings of January, the child is curled up in the wagon...bundled in a coat and blankets, sometimes with an umbrella propped over its head, seemingly trying to keep the morning and the cold away, with its eyes shut tight. The woman wears her bright yellow rain slicker and wellies, moving quickly in what seems to be the hopes of staying warm, or at least reaching her destination as quickly as possible. On the occasional morning that I do not see them, I notice their absence and wonder where they are.
This morning, as I saw the pair moving quickly and with purpose down the street in the pouring rain, I wondered--before my recent revelations...before my new "awakening"...would I even have noticed these two? Or would I have been so involved with planning my day, worrying and wondering, living inside my own head, that I would have driven past without ever seeing?
Now, as I drive that "same" commute every morning, I do my best to look around, to notice, to pay attention. I've already missed too many important things in my life.