A few days ago, I took my little ones for a walk through the neighborhood, as we often do. I was feeling resentful. It was officially the second day of spring, but it was a late spring. It’s been gray-dark here. The soft white snow from a few days before turned to mud and dark puddles on the ground, the brightness of the snow-covered trees faded to the pre-green brown waiting for the real spring.
This winter has gone on too long and we could feel the tension everywhere. I entertained justifying my feelings of resentment because I wasn’t outside more and, even more so, because of the damage to our eco-systems and injustices around the world, that I am always aware of and often feel helpless to reverse.
While mulling over my bitterness, I wished I could take in spectacular views outside my window and door rather than the brown sidewalk and black pavement of a suburban neighborhood in the winter. I wanted to walk out my door into dense woods or into a meadow or overlooking a valley wandering through higher hills. I wanted to see a river meandering or a backdrop of a peak so high it holds the snow. I wanted to see the vivid scenes of nature that are the hallmarks of being alive–scenes that gloriously take my breath away with the magnitude of the glory.
I don’t want to have to look for the beauty. I want it to feel me in every step of it outside.
I’m angry to be trapped in the failure of modern monotony—the broken promise of corporate lethargy. And I forget. I forget to look for the magnificence in the little things.
We were on our walk on that partially-sunny 45° morning. Emily (3) wearing her jeans and t-shirt, a jacket and crocs–without socks. Aiden (9) in jeans and a long sleeved T-shirt riding his bike. And Duncan (6) in shorts, boots and a long sleeved shirt with his jacket flung casually over the handlebars of his hand-me-down scooter.
There we were, traversing the sidewalks with a new, dark puddle reflecting my resentment every 10-15 feet.
Then, little Emily gleefully marched through the frigid puddles allowing the contrast of the icy water against her warm skin as the water seeped into her crocs and up the ankles of her jeans. Almost simultaneously Aiden rode his bike through a deep puddle swishing the water through the spokes on the wheel, dispersing the drops creating big ripples in the puddle and sprays of water in the sunshine.
It made me pause. Because right there, right in front of me, overlooked and unappreciated, was the beauty I sought. The spray of water–each drop a world–a universe–of micro-cosmic wonder. Each arching spray offering a rainbow to the world, to us, to me.
The ripples revealed another splendor. The momentum from the bike wheel broke the placidity of the surface, bending the scene into a thousand curves. One motion, one disruption showing me a revived reflection, a different world. And with it, my resentment washed away on each small wave.
There I found immeasurable appeal in the overlooked—in the boundless rainbows birthed by tiny drops of water; in the sweet, simplicity of scattering a dark puddle into a thousand shimmering mirrors.
There we were again: Emily surrounded by water, the boys circling around her, and me, standing outside, hearing the chime of laughter as these fresh mirrors offered the revived reflection of a smile, and infinite splendor in all the little things.
Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.