All about us
“It seems to me that people are forever traveling great distances, and journeying to strange countries, to see things that, if they only knew it, exist beside their own doorstep…Whether one goes to nature for truth, or for beauty, for knowledge or for relaxation, these things can be found in a yard in the city as well as in a tropical jungle, for they exist in the common, simple, everyday things all about us, as well as in the rare and exotic.” – Leonard Dubkin
It’s easy to assume that older people enjoy nature because they have nothing more urgent to do, and perhaps that is true to some extent. Having known my parents for nearly 60 years, though, I can’t remember a time when they were too busy to appreciate the commonplace joys of life. Hearing Mama regularly exclaim over the beauty of various plants that grew in our yard and neighborhood taught me the names of many of them. Watching Daddy work faithfully for years at a career he obviously and genuinely loved gave me a powerful example that it’s possible to maintain deep appreciation of what could easily become too familiar to see clearly.
I count myself fortunate to have grown up hearing frequent praises for extraordinary, ordinary things. Whether it was the taste of food fresh from a garden, the sound of a particularly spirited or touching piece of music on an oft-played record album, or the joyful antics of birds, squirrels and other wildlife, I learned early to pay attention to the abundance that surrounds us. It’s a lesson that has paid rich dividends.
What are the ordinary gifts in your everyday world, that would be worth traveling great distances to experience? If you and I could swap places for just one day, what would you want me to be sure not to miss? Since we can’t swap places, you can tell me about it here and I can enjoy it through your words…and you can appreciate it anew by revisiting the joy or excitement or contentment you feel just by thinking of it.