People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. 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
On our recent vacation to Maui there were unmistakable moments of natural beauty. Falling waterfalls, an abundance of lush greenery, and the deep shimmer of the ocean kept cementing the notion that, over and over again, there is so much that can captivate our attention if we look up, down, and around us. Inspired by all of the poetry of the earth, I snapped so many pictures. Some of my photographs depicted a bee landing on flower petals, the searing sunsets across the ocean, and the grittiness of light brown sand. One particular picture that brought it all together was this shot of the lotus flowers grazing the green lily pads while the water rippled in different directions.
Staring at the flower, I sensed a deep resonance of peace, something that feels foreign most of the times. There is no doubt, I keep repeating myself, in my personal life and on this space about my dire need to find a place of contentment. My goal is not to pursue happiness, but rather live in a state where chaos does not cut me open. My continued relationship with restlessness twists and turns in new and different ways. But watching these lotus flowers bloom provided a base for what alludes me: the literal blooming and blossoming of the petals to achieve personal enlightenment in my own life. It is not easy to always keep this path in the center. The beauty of my regular everyday does allude me. I keep asking this question: Is there a requirement that I surround myself around these natural elements to recognize that in my everyday life there is also beauty?
There are days I forget the seamless beauty of what exists at my back door. These little gifts. Cuddling up with a good book on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Answering questions from my 7 1/2 year-old about lightning, rejection, and any thought that may cross her mind. The blank page. The ability to write. To breathe. To see. To listen to my favorite station on Pandora. An early morning run.
Lately, I’ve leaned toward holding on to things that are not right with my life. But really, yes, there is so much abundance I am ashamed that I lose my grip on what is important. This is the lesson I realize I need to learn in my life. A temporary setback need not fuel my restlessness, but quiet it, because it is precisely this state that indicates that I am alive and have the ability to enjoy, cry, endure, and process.
That indeed, every interaction and emotion is somehow a miracle. Look up. Look down. At your feet. In your home. With your loved ones. In traffic. At the grocery store. In the middle of the night when you cannot sleep.
Do you recognize the beauty of the everyday?