Yesterday evening I watched the shadows march across my backyard as the sun meandered toward the horizon. Above my head a perfect blue sky was framed by the crown of willow oaks, dappled in the day’s remaining golden light. It was beautiful, in such a simple way, and I could feel the stress of the day ease off my shoulders. For a moment there, breathing deeply, I paid attention enough to be amazed at the beauty of God’s creation and the blessing of having the ability to enjoy it.
Is it worth telling you about this? According to the poet Mary Oliver, it is.
Telling about our wonder, or, in her words, our “astonishment” is part of paying attention. When I notice beauty, or take pleasure in something, or tend to some pain, and really pay attention to it, something shifts in me, and that shift becomes even more real when I share about it with another person. We live in a magical world, if only we have eyes to see it. Poetry helps me to see. What is helping you pay attention today? What are you being astonished by?––Caren Swanson
Top image via blogger “An Octopus’ Garden,” bottom photo by Caren Swanson.