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Square Foot of Wonders

Yesterday I was sitting out on my stoop, actually almost in my driveway, waiting for a friend to arrive for a walk and from there I made a wonderful, though not really earth-shattering, discovery.

I had just listened to a short meditation by Jeff Warren called “Whole Body Listening.” Very nice. And it was a gorgeous autumnal day. Bright and crisp, with a deep blue sky. I was lying on my back in the sun, right there by my driveway, eyes open to my neighbor’s tree against that blue sky and as so often happens, was inspired to take a photo looking straight up. Lovely.

Then the magic happened. I was further inspired by the light and the colors to take photos all around me, from just right there, without getting up or finding a different vantage point, just right from where I was (reminding me of Pema Chodron’s lovely book, Start Where You Are). There were so many beautiful little things right there around me, in that very humble spot, the sidewalk at the edge of my cracked driveway. Each way I turned my head I found something picture worthy, at least, to my mind.

And isn’t that the simple truth? That anywhere we are, there are little humble things, pretty or interesting things, worthy of our attention and gratitude. You might even say worthy of love and you might even call them wonders. All these unassuming things everywhere around us, ripe for the eye’s picking. If you’re game for looking, for seeing, for spending a little time in a way that others might call pointless, and you don’t have any particular expectations, you will be rewarded, practically anyplace you find yourself.

I found this fossil rock years ago and put it in my messy “rock garden.”

I wasn’t looking for New England fall colors or Rocky Mountain views. I was just looking. Looking and seeing while sitting still in that simple spot. And it was such a pleasure. It just goes to show that simple pleasures, and even wonders, abound, as long as we’re open to them.

I had an aching back that day, too, which is why I lay down to listen to that meditation in the first place and why I saw the beguiling sky and tree above when I opened my eyes. That aching back gave me such an opportunity. I truly believe opportunities, too, are all around us and we need to seize upon them whenever we can.

What might you see just outside your door, at the end of the sidewalk, or just by the nearby curb? Wonders, I’ll bet. What little bodily grievance might lead you to something wonder-full?

“I have learned over a period of time to be almost unconsciously grateful–as a child is–for a sunny day, blue water, flowers in a vase, a tree turning red. I have learned to be glad at dawn and when the sky is dark. Only children and a few spiritually evolved people are born to feel gratitude as naturally as they breathe, without even thinking. Most of us come to it step by painful step, to discover that gratitude is a form of acceptance.” ― Faith Baldwin, Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart

“I hope these simple things are what I forever love about life, for then I will be happy no matter where I find myself.”― R. YS Perez, I Hope You Fall in Love

“When simple is more than enough, you will feel happy more than enough!”― Mehmet Murat Ildan

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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