It’s easy to get lost in the hum-drum of everyday events. Wake up the kids, make breakfast, get dressed, get the kids on the bus, clean the house, get groceries, run errands, pick up the kids, go to appointments, make dinner, baths, read books, fall into bed. The next day, repeat. You get the point. Within all of that madness there are moments of unexpected beauty that can easily be lost if not sought after. My own mother was a master of this. She could turn any frown upside-down, sing a made-up-song at the drop of a hat, rejoice in the beauty of the everyday. Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and warm woolen mittens. That sort of thing. You could just feel excitement when she was around. Like anything was possible. Like anything could happen. And even if nothing earth-shattering was happening it would still be fun. And there was beauty. She would talk about how much she loved a clear counter, the snap of a fresh sheet being tucked onto a mattress, the warmth of folding towels just out of the dryer. Her optimism was infectious, and her touch made our home a place where everyone wanted to gather. When you view the world through these lenses, the beauty is easier to see. Moments that would have gone unnoticed become something to appreciate.
I was making dinner the other night with a heavy heart. I felt like I had been in the kitchen all day, and that my work was never done. I could see only the madness and not the magnificent. I felt weighed down with all there was to do. It was making me snap at my two boys and feel like I was trying to walk through cement. I was making chicken noodle soup from scratch because it was freezing outside and it was something my mother would have done. As I was cutting the celery, I decided to lob off the end of the stalk to save time. I rinsed the long sections and diced them up into the pot. As I moved my hand to sweep the nub of the celery stalk into the garbage something caught my eye. I looked closer and picked it up. This is what I saw.
A perfect rose. I couldn’t believe it. I realized how my perspective was clouding my observations of the world around me. I was missing the beauty in the unexpected, the happiness in the routine. I finished chopping up the vegetables into the soup and covered the pot to let it simmer. I wiped my hands on the dish towel and put a smile on my face. There were two little boys in the house that needed a hug.