Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul. ~Alice Walker
When was the last time you appreciated the beauty of the small things in life? How long has it been since you’ve allowed yourself to sit still and appreciate a moment that filled your heart with joy? It’s so vitally important to cherish those tiny wonders that add up to so much. Sadly, if we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in “life” that we miss them all together. Recently, my daughter reminded me of how special those moments are.
I was in the bedroom cleaning up, handling the typical weekend chores, when my six year old daughter Ayla came running into the room.
“Mommy! Daddy! You guys have to see this!!! You’re going to love her just as much as I do! She is the best pet ever!”
In that moment, Greg and I exchanged a glance confirming neither one of us knew what was going on, and frankly couldn’t begin to imagine what she was up to now. As we walked up the stairs to her room, she went on to describe how she and her little brother Dylan found her in our bathroom and managed to catch their new friend. She even had the perfect home for her. The more she talked, the more intrigued I became about what this new “friend” was.
When we got to Ayla’s room, we met her for the first time. “Here she is!! This is Rosy Daisy Clark, the most beautiful beetle in the world!” I looked inside her once mermaid aquarium, now newly converted to a beetle sanctuary, and sure enough, there was the beetle.
“Wow….Ayla….she’s…..neat. Isn’t she Daddy?” I said.
“Oh yes! The most beautiful beetle I’ve ever seen.” Greg quickly added.
Both of the kids were over the moon with excitement as they watched their new friend crawl around in the cage. If you look closely, you’ll see the beetle in the bottom right of the cage.This picture was taken just a few minutes after we were introduced to Rosy, and the excitement is still written all over Ayla’s face. I just love her expression; and the crown just tops off all the awesome that is happening in her world. I don’t know about you…but I want to know where I can find some of that joy!
For the next couple of hours, Ayla kept talking about how happy she was to have her new pet and how she was the best beetle in the world. We’d be talking about something completely unrelated, and then she’d get the biggest smile across her face as she’d say, “I just love her so much! I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have such a beautiful pet beetle!”
Eventually, with much conversation and convincing, she agreed to let Rosy Daisy Clark go free so she could go back to her beetle family. We still talk about Rosy Daisy Clark and wonder what she is up to in her beetle world. Every time we go outside and she sees a beetle, she’s convinced that it’s Rosy coming to say hi, they’re best friends after all!
Ayla’s story of her beetle is a typical childhood wonder that kids experience so often. Watching her made me reminisce on my own youth and the countless creatures I brought home from adventures in the woods with my sister. I can remember that same excitement and joy.
It seems as we age, graduate school, become successful in life, the busier we become. We become seduced by the idea of “bigger and better” and before we know it, we’re addicted to the pursuit of more. In doing so, we focus less and less on the little wonders that happen in our everyday. All of a sudden, the kind gesture of a stranger, the joy in a moment, the impact of a conversation, the advice of a friend, the amazing sunset…..are gone as quickly as they came. We miss the opportunity to appreciate the beauty they could have brought to our life.
My challenge to you this week and every day after, is to appreciate the beauty in the small things of your day. Those moments, however fleeting they may be, are so important to living a peaceful and full life. That may mean you need to put your cell phone down and be present with those that love you. It may mean to take an intentional pause in your busy and stressful day and smell the flowers. You may have to sit still and enjoy the silence. Whatever it may mean to you…Appreciate the here and now. Go out of your way to be kind. Be generous. Be loving. Just Be.
Life is an amazing gift. Don’t miss the beauty of the small little wonders it reveals to you every day.
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