As I write this I am laid up with a bad back – a recurring problem which is the result of an injury in my teenage years. Fortunately it doesn’t give out very often, but when it does it’s rather incapacitating. I have learned to treat these occasional enforced breaks as small retreats, for the pain isn’t bad as long as I don’t move much. And so there is time just to read, write and ponder…
Keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles in your life
Over these past couple of out-of-action days my thoughts have tended towards all the little things that engage my sense of wonder, and more particularly how simple they often are. The truth is that I find myself enchanted by the small things as much, and sometimes more than, dramatic moments or events.
When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
I also find that my sense of contentment increases when I pause and appreciate the ‘commonplace’ things that make up my day. That first cup of tea, beginning a much-anticipated book, the sound of rain pattering against the window, birdsong in the woods, a delicious meal, talking about a shared passion with a kindred soul, starting a new painting, a Chai Latte enjoyed in the quiet corner of a bookshop, the feel of green moss on the bark of an old tree (or forest fur as I call it)…the list goes on.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is certainly a need to guard my heart against losing this sense of wonder as these moments can be so easily missed or taken for granted. But after a while of forgetting to notice, a dullness sets in and things begin to feel a bit mundane. Then something catches my attention – a feather or a pretty stone, the smell of freshly cut grass, hearing a song that could have been written just for me – and wakens me once more to all life’s little daily marvels.
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
About the Artwork…
The artwork featured in this post, called ‘Waiting in Wonder’, is one of the paintings currently on exhibition in Dumfries and, I think, is a good illustration of this post. This stargazing hare is painted in acrylic on boxed 16″ x 20″ canvas and if you are interested in the original painting then do get in touch.