Whether it started gradually, or all of a sudden, I don’t know, but I recently began noticing little things. Not just any little things, either; I notice those all the time, and so do you. No, these are beautiful little things. A facial expression slipped in between exclamations in a conversation that I’m a part of. A tiny detail in a room that I have been in countless times before, but somehow never noticed. Something so ordinary, and yet so striking that I can’t help but marvel at it.
Riding home from Michigan last week, my eyes slide unfocused over trees and pavement and passing cars and then more trees. And then suddenly, the trees drop away and are replaced by a clearing of green grass and, in the distance, endless fields of crops. Two white houses and a barn are propped neatly along one side of the clearing. A long, grassy-green yard stretches out from both houses. I see all this, and more, but it’s the slide that captures my attention.
It’s a children’s slide, taller than a small child and made of plastic. The slide is red and the ladder is blue, and in the seconds that pass before the slide and its yard and house are out of view, I am transfixed. The sun streams through the clouds overhead, and the slide sits small, bright, and resolute in the middle of the lush green yard. It wasn’t a fancy slide; it wasn’t even the first blue and red slide children’s slide I ever saw, but seeing it sitting so alone and remarkable in that rolling green yard caught me off guard with its accidental beauty.
I liked seeing that slide. I like remembering what the scene looked like, and I like painting the picture afresh, this time in words. I’m certain that there are more beautiful little things out there, and I’m positive that I miss them all the time. But I want to see them. I want my eyes to be open to seeing what is beautiful in what I do everyday, or what you see each evening, or what she says every morning.
I know beauty is there, and I want to see it.