“I don’t see it any more,” he says wistfully, filling the water jars at the coffee shop counter. “My job is to see anything that’s wrong here, so I don’t see the beauty here any more.”
I’ve been thinking about that recently — the niggling possibility that my fresh view of a new (to me) crayola-colored city life will eventually fade into gray-toned familiarity.
I want to never take for granted the view from the treadmill of the glassed-in 3rd-story gym, the careful presentation of architectural ingenuity fed to me so gently every morning.
I want to never stop noticing the way the fresh sleepy dawn light targets the golden cross on the church in the distance, nudging my heart to wake up on the verge of worship.
I want to always see the way the orange-infused sunrise slowly fills up the morning, reflecting off the distant clump of glass towers, sitting like a collection of precious crystalline forms promising a day of hope and magic.
I want to always notice the way the activity of a city morning reminds me I’m not alone in this world, even as I choose to carefully guard my own personal space.
I want to always pay attention to the way the historical exposed brick interior walls remind me of the continuity of life, the gift of building beauty into the future of those who come next.
I want to never stop feeling the lavish displays of compassion growing in the form of a small park garden, a tender co-creation between earth and the human regenerative spirit.
So I take photos.
And I stop (literally) to pay attention when something catches my eye.
And I crouch down in front of a puddle to see the reflection of a floating leaf from ground level.
And I indulge the stories in my mind of the ones who came before, and the ones who will come after.
And I write about it – in my journal, on scraps of paper, on post-it notes, in my head, and here.
Never stop seeing it… and don’t forget to start.