Monday, July 23, 2018

Looking Through The Eyes Of Wonder

A close-up of a yellow dandelion batched in warm light

I was reading a story this morning about a woman who was looking out of the window at her lawn covered in dandelions, a bumper crop as her husband described it. To her it looked a field of weeds that would need hours of work. Just then her 5 year old daughter came and looked out of the same window. "Oh, look, Mommy! Look at all the beautiful yellow flowers! Can we pick some?" At that moment, the woman understood that how we choose to look at life is what we will actually see. She saw weeds. Her child saw beauty and wonder.

I was reminded of that the other day while watching a slow-motion video of birds in flight. First up was a white dove, it's angelic wings moving with all its might back and forth in the air. Because it was slow-motion, you could see it's muscles working hard beneath the feathers and skin. It caused me to wonder how those light-weight wings could propel that beautiful creature through the air. As if that wasn't wonder enough, the video also captured a humming bird in slow-motion as well. How that tiny creature had the strength to move those even tinier wings at such an amazing speed not only to fly, but to hover, was nothing short of a miracle. If this video had been playing at regular speed, I would only have seen a dove in flight and the brief flash of the humming bird across the screen. When the video was slowed down, I saw beauty and wonder.

If we can slow down long enough to capture the wonders and beauty of nature, if we can look at the world through the eyes of a 5 year old, what wonders might we uncover when we look at our human selves? Have you ever wondered how it is possible that you can walk, talk, breathe, eat, see, hear, smell and post on Facebook all at the same time? That you can learn to swim like a fish, or jump like a kangaroo, or run like a cheetah? Are we so busy trying to "get it done" that we forget the miracle, the gift of being given the equipment to do it with? Take a moment and look at your hand while it is squeezing a ball. Look at how the muscles, ligaments and tendons expand and contract. Feel the strength and the life blood moving through that hand. Talk about an amazing creation.

As for me, I've always thought that dandelions were beautiful. Even when I was gardening on a large scale, I usually let the dandelions keep a small section of the garden. When I found out that dandelions have many useful qualities as both food and medicine, it ceased to be a weed in my mind and became another wonder of Nature, as something that had worth.  It would seem that the little girl in the story had it right all along. May we all see through the eyes, and the heart, of a child.

And so it is.