a contented heart · cultivating gratitude · I am blessed

Miracle or Common Occurrence?

“Nothing is worth more than this day,” my calendar shouts, quoting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

“You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach.”

I need the reminder. In a world of cares, it’s often necessary to open the blinds and draw back the curtains that hinder my sight.

A typical day finds me pondering child training perplexities, tonight’s menu, or how to prioritize my work. I worry about an upcoming event or how the house will get cleaned. I daydream or relive a book I read without absorbing half the splendors surrounding me.

In Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, she lists both spectacular and seemingly mundane gifts in her days. One gift I recall now is so ordinary, most of us miss it: the simple pleasure of soap bubbles reflecting sunlight.

Some days – such as achingly gorgeous spring days when the air is apple blossom and lilac-scented and bursting with renewed life and color – I am awake to surrounding charms. More commonly, I’m all but oblivious to the grandeur of life.

My thoughts fill with petty things. I bemoan a hard situation or wrestle with negative thought trains. Internal grumbling and peevish thoughts leave scarce room to wonder over tiny miracles like iridescent bubbles.

Yet, whether or not I realize it, life is brimming with such pleasures. This quote sums it up perfectly. “Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The question then, is: will I focus on the wonders all around me? The pleasures God has expressly put in my way? Will I stop and take stock of this day? Treat it as the miracle it is? 

Having a three-year-old child helps. Tonight my son pointed out clouds floating across the evening sky and announced “so plitty (pretty).” I didn’t get it, at first. The sky wasn’t particularly colorful. The scene was lovely, yes, but not unusual. A blue sky, a few white clouds, nothing distinctive.

But that’s the whole point. 

It doesn’t take a stunning sunset to appreciate the evening sky. Something as daily and utterly predictable as the rays of setting sunshine can always be a springboard for gratitude, wonder and joy. 

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